Syria: Groupthink or Grouppray?

With morbid fascination, I’m watching the leaders of the United States groupthink their way into a counterproductive use of American military force.  It’s disturbing to observe otherwise intelligent and well-motivated public servants drift into a bad decision. If I’ve learned anything in my 60 years as a citizen of this country, it’s this:  I don’t [Read More…]

The Nonviolent Atonement: Brian McLaren and James Alison on Violence, God, and Mimetic Theory

[Editor’s Note: This post, by Adam Ericksen from The Raven Foundation, is the second in our new weekly series on Mimetic Theory.] I’ve been excited to tell you this ever since July…There has been much anticipated within mimetic theory circles for the conversation between Brian McLaren and James Alison and I can now tell you that it has been [Read More…]

Brian McLaren on Passing on the Faith

All month here at Patheos, we’ve been exploring the topic of Passing on the Faith to our children. How do we pass on this faith we cherish so much to our beloved children? A fantastic group of voices and perspectives from across the religious spectrum have weighed in on this important question, from Progressive Christians (Phyllis [Read More…]

Dying for a Drink

(an excerpt from SOULJOURN, my new novel)   We worked all day.  Dad and Rachel were on one team, Father Crespi and I were on another, refilling tanks, cleaning up trash around them, and placing new ones.  Five new blue flags, marking the new tanks, waved defiantly against the demon of thirst, and fluttered in [Read More…]

To Sing and Dance: Confessions of a Religious, but Not Spiritual

When I think about spiritual disciplines as something I need to do in order to be a “good” Christian, every fiber of my being rebels. But when I think about them as roadmaps, paths that a great cloud of witnesses have traversed for thousands of years before me, then there is a stirring in my soul. [Read more…]

Introducing Mimetic Mondays: Exploring God and Violence

Mimetic Theory. It’s a phrase that’s been popping up in conversations and blogposts about violence, and particularly the violence in the Bible, from the likes of Brian McLaren, Kevin Miller, Christian Piatt and other progressive Christian thinkers as of late. Being new to the concept myself, I decided we needed some experts to come and unpack [Read More…]

Itchy Intentions for a Messy World: A Tale of Two Festivals

A dozen bug bites and one gold intention bracelet. My arm, currently adorned with both, has become a living totem pole of sorts this week, a reminder of two different spiritual communities I entered into, and was gifted by, within a week of each other. From the hot, humid and muddy campground of the Wild [Read More…]

Matheomatics

St. John of the Cross, the Spanish mystical priest of the 16th century, drew a map of the soul’s journey, and entitled it The Ascent of Mt. Carmel.  The path up the mountain was marked with the words “nada nada nada nada”.  His was the “via negativa”, the way of negation that led to direct [Read More…]

Opening the Heart: an excerpt from my new Patheos Press novel, SOULJOURN

An excerpt from SOULJOURN, my new novel (Chapter 6): I went home, said goodnight to Dad, and went to bed. The moonlight bathed my bedroom. The silence seemed to beg to be filled. I opened the bedroom window and leaned out and looked up at Cobre Mountain, faintly glowing in the white light. I felt [Read More…]

Wild Goose Day Four: Ecosystems

My branch of mostly-white Protestant Christianity is obsessed with its own death. It frets about its demise constantly, asks itself how to prevent its decline, worries about its legacy, and, like a dying plant, apportions its resources in bare maintenance patterns, often in levels too low to really support life. But I think we sometimes miss the forest for the trees. [Read more…]

Wild Goose Day Three: Closer To Fine

I don’t know if I’ve ever had an ecstatic religious experience before. Certainly those experiences aren’t readily had in my branch of white Protestant Christianity. I could probably point to moments throughout my years at evangelical summer camps, youth group, college Bible studies, and church services where I have been transported, transfixed, and moved by [Read More…]

Wild Goose Day Two: Embodiment

Humidity is a kind of spiritual practice. I never thought about it that way until this very day, but I am now convinced that it is true. Humidity has never bothered me much before; I was raised in the South, and where other people wither when the air is damp, I thrive. Out West where [Read More…]