Shane Claiborne

Last night Fran and Rhiannon and I drove up to Berry College outside of Rome, GA to hear Shane Claiborne speak. Shane is the author of a wonderful book called The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (I've been meaning to write a review of it and just haven't gotten to it yet; for now let's just say it's a book that belongs on your "must read" list). A leading figure in the neo-monastic movement, Shane is a co-founder of a small intentional community in Philadelphia, where he … [Read more...]

Your Best Theology Now?

Over the past few months two different friends, both of whom I respect dearly, both theologically informed, liberal-minded folks, suggested I read Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential. Osteen is kind of our generation's answer to Norman Vincent Peale, a wildly successful prosperity gospel preacher based in Texas. He's the pastor of what I understand is America's largest congregation, has his own TV show, etc. and this book has sold upwards of four million … [Read more...]

Mysticism in a book?

A blogger named SaltSister recently wrote a post called The Mystic Way in which she takes aim at the kind of person who reads a book or two on mysticism and then decides that he or she is a mystic. While in principle I totally agree with her, the tone of her post bothered me a bit, so I posted a comment asking for clarification. After all, my blog is all about the joys of reading books by and about the mystics. Her response to me included this genuine jewel: "Studying to learn how to enter into … [Read more...]

The Interior Castle for free…

The wonderful Christian Audio company sells downloadable MP3s and CDs of inspirational audiobooks; their catalog includes a number of mystical classics, including The Rule of St. Benedict, The Imitation of Christ, and The Practice of the Presence of God. Plus they have lots of wonderful works by more contemporary authors, ranging from Henri Nouwen to Richard Foster to N. T. Wright.Each month, Christian Audio offers one of their titles as a free download. Yes, that's right: free, no charge, … [Read more...]

Antiquarian Book Fair

Last night my brother and sister-in-law and I attended the Georgia Antiquarian Book Fair which is being held in conjunction with the Decatur Book Festival. Some fifty antiquarian book dealers, mostly from the south but some from all over the U.S., gathered at the Holiday Inn in Decatur to show off (and hopefully sell) their fine, beautiful, and rare books. Plenty of books there were well over a hundred years old. Many modern first editions and signed books were on display as well. You could get … [Read more...]

Raimon Panikkar, Richard of St. Victor, and Ken Wilber

Here's a sweet little quote from interreligious theologian Raimon Panikkar's newest book, The Experience of God: Icons of the Mystery: Without purity of heart, not only can one not "see" God, but it is equally impossible to have any idea of what is involved in doing so. Without the silence of the intellect and the will, without the silence of the senses, without the openness of what some call "the third eye" (spoken of not only by Tibetans but also by the disciples of Richard of Saint Victor), … [Read more...]

The Countdown Begins…

So what do I do when I'm not reading ancient mystics like John Cassian or the Pseudo-Dionysius, or modern mystics like Ken Wilber or Thomas Merton? Well, for at least between now and about the third week in July, I'll be reading Harry Potter.This morning I figured out that there are (counting today) 129 days until the seventh and final Harry Potter adventure is unleashed upon the world. Meanwhile, in volumes one through six there are a total of 162 chapters. See where I'm going? By reading a … [Read more...]