Almost Catholic

Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, & Mystery of Ancient Faith By Jon M. Sweeney San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanRaised evangelical and now an Episcopalian, Jon M. Sweeney (who is the editor of an ecumenical Christian publisher) has plenty of cred as a Protestant. But like many who were born on Luther's side of the Reformation, he enjoys a deep love and attraction to Catholic culture, without feeling impelled to actually become a Catholic. In … [Read more...]

The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition

The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition By Normal Russell Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004 Review by Carl McColmanDeification, or theosis, is one of the least known and most misunderstood of ancient Christian teachings. Still a part of Orthodox theology to this day, in the west it evolved into what we now call “sanctification” or “sanctifying grace,” replacing the radical idea of “participation in God” with the much safer concept of merely “becoming holy.” This scholar … [Read more...]

How Harry Cast His Spell

How Harry Cast His Spell: The Meaning Behind the Mania for J.K. Rowling's Bestselling Books By John Granger Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanFinally, a book about Harry Potter, written from a Christian perspective, that doesn't just get into hysterical anti-witchcraft paranoia! This is a revision of Granger's earlier book, Looking for God in Harry Potter, which was published before the final Potter book was released last year. So this new edition reviews all seven … [Read more...]

An Experiment as We Approach the Holidays

Okay, shoppers! Only 67 shopping days until Christmas!I admit, I'm as caught in the net of consumerism as much as anyone else. Christmas (or, if your faith prefers, the solstice or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) is a time for gift giving. But even though George W. Bush might think it is our patriotic duty in tough times to buy an HDTV or an American-made car, I'd like to spend the next 9 weeks promoting a different kind of gift: books.I love reviewing books, and I've posted a number of reviews on this … [Read more...]

World Mysticism Interview Online

To help promote the class I teach on World Mysticism through Emory University's Center for Lifelong Learning, I gave an interview about world mysticism with Max Arbes of Atlanta's AM 1690. That interview is now available online:Carl McColman talks about World Mysticism.I especially like the jazzy theme music — Thomas Merton (whose love for jazz was legendary) would certainly have approved! … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Heaven: the place where the pursuit of happiness leads to when you stop pursuing it. — Andrei Codrescu on NPR, October 9, 2008 … [Read more...]