A Flock of Books (for the Wild Goose Festival)

Here's a gallery of selected books by some of the speakers, authors, conversationalists, storytellers, and agitators who will be present at the first Wild Goose Festival, to be held in North Carolina this coming June 23-26. If you're like me, you probably find this list of books in itself to be pretty exciting. Imagine the opportunity to hear — and interact with — the authors of all these books, along with a few thousand other creative, visionary, and justice-oriented people of faith. Throw … [Read more...]

The Early Goose gets the $99 Worm!

Advance tickets are now on sale for the Wild Goose Festival! Now through November 9, early bird tickets are available for the rock-bottom price of $99 ($49 for kids, with special pricing for families and single-parent families). In exchange for your hard-earned cash, your ticket provides you with 3 days of camping and access to one of the most exciting events you can imagine: a nexus of spirituality, art, and justice/activism. This event will feature exciting and visionary leaders from the … [Read more...]

The Mysticism Haters Have Found the Big Book!

I've mentioned Lighthouse Trails Research several times over the years on this blog. It's a sad and pathetic website, created by spiritually-wounded fundamentalist Christians who believe it is their duty to hate mysticism and contemplation and to "warn" others about the "dangers" associated with mystical and contemplative practice. Yes, I know "hate" is a strong word, but I also believe in stating things plainly: and the plain truth is that Lighthouse Trails Research is a spiritual hate site. … [Read more...]

A bookmark for you (and your friends)…

To help promote The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, I have had some bookmarks printed up. As you can see, they feature the cover design of the book, along with a few interesting quotations from St. Francis de Sales, St. Catherine of Siena, and Karl Rahner, SJ. On the back of the bookmark are blurbs from folks like Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Brian McLaren, endorsing the book. Now, my job is to make sure these bookmarks get placed in the  hands of people interested in mysticism. … [Read more...]

What do Brian McLaren and Carolyn Myss have in common?

What do Brian McLaren and Carolyn Myss have in common? And, for that matter, Phyllis Tickle, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Richard Rohr? They have all endorsed The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. Over the last few weeks, while I've been proofreading the manuscript, the publisher and I have sent it out to a number of authors, college professors, and clergypersons, for feedback and potential endorsements. Now, to God be the glory in all of this: to date we have received the following responses, all of … [Read more...]

A New Kind of Christianity

A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming Our Faith By Brian D. McLaren New York: HarperOne, 2010 Review by Carl McColman I think the argument could be made that evidence of just how important Brian McLaren's latest book is, comes not just from his own gracious and thoughtful argument, but just as much from his many detractors. We have a saying here in the south, "A hit dog hollers" — in other words, the vehemence by which some corners of the evangelical world are … [Read more...]

Pelagius, Augustine, Original Sin, Orthodoxy, and the Celts…

In Christ of the Celts, J. Philip Newell takes aim at the conflict between Augustine and Pelagius over the question of original sin — a chickenfight that eventually resulted in Pelagius and Pelagianism getting condemned as heretical. Newell sees clear political ramifications in this doctrinal skirmish: The doctrine of original sin was a convenient "truth" for the builders of empire. They could continue to conquer the world and subdue peoples. And now they could do it with the authority of a … [Read more...]

Four Dimensions of Christian Spirituality for Our Time

About a month ago I wrote this: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how my spiritual identity is shaped by the contemplative tradition (as exemplified by the Lay-Cistercian community where I am in formation), my Celtic heritage (of which I have written several books and which continues to inform much of my self-understanding as a Christian), my love for mysticism (primarily Christian mysticism, but extending into all the wisdom streams of the world) and the emergent conversation … [Read more...]

“People of Christlike Love”

In A New Kind of Christianity, Brian McLaren ponders the question of what the church's "one mission, message, and quest" should be. In other words, here in our fragmented, postmodern world, where the church has splintered into so many different theological, ecclesial and cultural forms, what can Christians rally around as a unifying message to inspire the community of faith as we move into the third millennium? McLaren goes on: "What one great danger do people need to be saved from, and, more … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Contemplating a loving God strengthens portions of our brain — particularly the frontal lobes and the anterior cingulate — where empathy and reason reside. Contemplating a wrathful God empowers the limbic system, which is 'filled with aggression and fear.' It is a sobering concept: The God we choose to love changes us into his image, whether he exists or not." — Michael Gerson, quoted by Brian McLaren in A New Kind of Christianity (original source: The Washington Post) … [Read more...]