Idolatry: Staring at Your Own Finger

How Dante cover

A month or so ago I was trying to put Samuel (one and a half) to bed and he was being a complete goofball: swaying from side to side, dancing in circles, and cycling through all his animal sounds in rapid succession. As I lay there on his bed, my primary thought was, “Ugh – [Read More...]

Abandon Hope: Dante, Swedenborg, and the Eternity of Hell


I’m looking forward to reading Rod Dreher’s upcoming book How Dante Can Save Your Life, about Dreher’s life-changing experience reading Dante’s Divine Comedy. Inspired partly by Dreher’s blogging and partly by conversations I had last year with a congregant back in western Canada, I finally dove into the Divine Comedy a few weeks ago, and I’ve made my way [Read More...]

Our Life After Death

Our Life After Death cover

This blog post is a reflection on the book Our Life After Death, recently published by the Swedenborg Foundation and currently featured in the Patheos Book Club. The book is essentially a long excerpt from Emanuel Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell, focusing primarily on what happens in the days, weeks, and months after we die, as [Read More...]

Book Review: In the Presence of Angels

In the Presence of Angels

This blog post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of In the Presence of Angels: Reflections on Mattie Pearl and Emanuel Swedenborg by Andrea R. Garrison In the Presence of Angels is a short, simple meditation by Andrea R. Garrison on the passing of her mother, Mattie Pearl. Garrison recounts her own spiritual [Read More...]

God Means It For Good

Little Way of Ruthie Leming

In the sermon I preached this past Sunday (available here), I mentioned a book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming by Rod Dreher. As I mentioned, the events described in that book – as well as the effects the book has had on those who have read it – provide a beautiful (though at times heartbreaking) [Read More...]

Does the World Need Another Book on Johnny Appleseed?

Core of Johnny Appleseed

This post is part of the Patheos Book Club roundtable discussion of The Core of Johnny Appleseed: The Unknown Story of a Spiritual Trailblazer by Ray Silverman. When I heard that Ray Silverman (a former professor of mine at Bryn Athyn College) was publishing a book on Johnny Appleseed (or John Chapman, his real name), I [Read More...]