Christmas and Vocation

One thing you learn from the doctrine of vocation is that the Christian life includes what we might describe as the secular.  The realm of “Christian” does not consist just of overtly devout exercises.  Rather, it also includes our lives in the family, the workplace, and the community.  This point also applies to how we celebrate Christmas.  We are surely right to complain when Jesus is left out of the celebration of His birthday, but those who complain about the secular observances–wanting it to be just a religious holiday celebrated in church, being irked that even non-Christians are celebrating it, and complaining about all of the presents–may be missing something about the scope of Christ’s reign and the nature of vocation. [Read more...]

Can the new Star Wars movie be good?

Did you know that a new Star Wars movie is opening this weekend?  I’m pretty sure you do, since I have never seen so much hype for a movie.  Nor have I seen so much merchandising before a movie has even been released.  As a Star Wars fan like the rest of humanity, I’m looking forward to seeing it and I hope it lives up to expectations.  But there are some aesthetic and cultural reasons why it might not. [Read more...]

What are the top books that have influenced YOU?

In the course of the discussion over Christian History’s list of the Top 25 most influential spiritual classics,  it was suggested that we talk about what spiritual classics have been influential to us, personally.  That’s a great idea.  (Thanks, Paul.)  Let’s make it a little easier.  You don’t have to list 25.  The books don’t have to be “spiritual classics,” as such.  Our focus is on faith and theology, but I’m also curious about other kinds of influences.  So I’d also like to hear from those of you for whom politics or philosophy or ideology has been more formative than faith and theology.  What are the top books that have been the most influential in your life?

More on the top 25 most influential spiritual classics

The editor of Christian History, Jennifer Woodruff Tait, wrote me about our post on that magazine’s list of the top 25 most influential spiritual classics.  She wanted to reply to some of your comments, but got tangled up in World Table (!!!), so I said I’d pass along what she said:

Thanks for featuring the issue!!

I’d love to respond to some of your commenters but I have no idea how to make the World Table comment system work. If it was still Disqus I would just go in and respond as the magazine.

Can you tell folks: We did not ask people to rank a list. We just wrote and asked them to list their top 5. The list that is there arose organically out of those responses.  The “others we love” from the top 100 were chosen by me specifically to address gender and racial imbalances [because honestly, everything that was mentioned was pretty awesome] and I still wish I had thought more about the need to include Orthodox writers.
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Top 25 Christian Classics

Christian History surveyed 70 of its authors to compile the 25 most influential Christian writings, after the Bible.   Martin Luther had three titles, second only to St. Augustine, who had four.  See the list and links after the jump.

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More of the Epic of Gilgamesh discovered

Big news in world literature:  A new tablet containing additional lines for the ancient Babylonian poem The Epic of Gilgamesh has been discovered. [Read more...]


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