Running the Numbers

Here is a web page well worth visiting, from artist Chris Jordan:Running the Numbers: An American Self-PortraitHere's the artist's description of what you'll find on this page: This series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing … [Read more...]

Iona Cottage

Last night I had a dream. The dream was set some 25 or so years from now: in it I am on the verge of being an elderly man, walking with a cane but otherwise alert and healthy. I was thinner than I am now (hooray!) with a shock of purely white hair. The dream begins with a car coming up a driveway to a small cottage; outside of the cottage is a sign that simply says "Iona Cottage." … [Read more...]

Books and Distraction

In response to a reader named Simon, last Monday I wrote a post called Do we really need another book on Christian mysticism? Here's how I ended that post: Now, I haven’t addressed the other side of Simon’s question, which has to do with concerns that books about the experience of God could actually be a distraction from seeking the direct experience itself. This is an important question, and will deserve a post of its own in the near future. So now, to address that "other side" of the question. … [Read more...]

Do we really need another book on Christian mysticism?

Okay, after a rather spirited exchange of comments with Simon yesterday, I've owned up to the fact that my post Remain in Love was driven, in large measure, by my own defensiveness. As we say here in the south, "A hit dog hollers." Not to say that I don't stand by what I said, it's a question of what motivated me to say it. Sure, Simon's initial question got me to thinking about how so many Christians seem to embody a veiled or not-so-veiled hostility to things of this world; but in all honesty … [Read more...]