Dry Bones

People keep talking about Luke Timothy Johnson's article on the role of mysticism within religion that recently appeared in Commonweal. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do. Here is a link to it: Dry Bones: Why Religion Can't Live Without Mysticism by Luke Timothy Johnson. … [Read more...]

The Lucid Dream that Self-Destructed

Last night I had a lucid dream. It lasted for about 15 seconds, alas.It's interesting how it played out. The dream was set in a hotel — kind of a cross between the Denver Radisson Graystone Castle and the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, only my dream hotel was older and seedier than either of those fine establishments. I had walked in the hotel from the rear parking lot, and stumbled across a pile of documents and materials that were cordoned off and being held by lawyers who were involved in a … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

It is common for those who argue for and against the existence of God to assume that the word God is used by believers to refer to something that we can point toward, distance ourselves from, and dispassionately reflect upon. However, one can reject this idea of God as nothing but a form of idolatry . . . This approach questions any expression that would reduce God to the realm of objects. Here no theistic rendering of God is allowed to lay claim to God, for God dwells above and beyond all … [Read more...]

L’Arche Atlanta

Fran and Rhiannon and I attended a gathering of the Friends of L'Arche Atlanta on Saturday evening. We've been meaning to get to a L'Arche meeting for some time now, but there always seemed to be one conflict or another. Now that we've finally made it, we are going to be more intentional about making L'Arche a priority in our lives.If you're not familiar with L'Arche, it's worth getting to know. Founded by Jean Vanier and immortalized by Henri Nouwen in his book The Road to Daybreak, L'Arche … [Read more...]

Suggested Reading for Protestant Mysticism and Contemplative Spirituality

If you're going to participate in the class on the Protestant Mystics that I'll be teaching at First Christian Church of Atlanta starting on April 6, then you might enjoy reading one or more of these books. They're all written by Protestant authors and each one features a different dimension of Christian spirituality that is mystical and/or contemplative in its focus. None of these books are required for the class, but they are all well worth reading — so I'm listing them here for your optional c … [Read more...]

Concerning Myth and Miracles

One of the fun things about blogging is the fact that I'm always getting in trouble, one way or the other.Here's my latest infraction — on Thursday when I wrote about the Annunciation, I dared to say "Whether the Annunciation be a miracle or a myth, it’s a powerful story that is well worth our consideration." This was too much for a reader named Andy who commented: I’ve been following your blog with interest for a few weeks now, but I suppose I finally see I’m just in the wrong place when you f … [Read more...]

New Monasticism

New Monasticism: What it Has to Say to Today's Church By Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2008 Review by Carl McColman"We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another — doubtless very different — St. Benedict," says Alasdair Macintyre at the conclusion of After Virtue, his withering critique of the ethical vacuum in postmodern society. And while the triumphalist voices on the hard Catholic right might loudly proclaim that this mantle belongs to Benedict XVI, for many ot … [Read more...]