Yesterday in Greenville, South Carolina, Father Dwight Longenecker and I got together for food and fellowship. We chatted: about writing, about our respective blogs, about Catholicism, and about you, the reader. This photo was taken in his office.
I’ve been reading the works of Fr. Dwight Longenecker since the publication of More Christianity: Finding the Fullness of the Faith, circa 2002. That book took C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity to the next step: What if Lewis had carried the logic he laid out so well in that book to its logical conclusion? Why, he’d have become Catholic, of course! (The book is such a good read that I always keep a copy on my bookshelf, ready to be presented as a gift to someone who is raising questions about the Catholic faith.)
Later, Longenecker (just “Dwight” in those days before his priestly ordination) played the same game of “What if” in Adventures in Orthodoxy, an imaginatively crafted sequel to G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy.
With one son working in those days at an airline (think: free travel privileges!) and another son living in Greenville, South Carolina (think: free lodging!), I flew down several times to hear Longenecker—a former evangelical-turned-Anglican priest-turned-Catholic visiting the U.S. from Britain—when he spoke at St. Mary’s Church in Greenville, near his parents’ home. Some time later, Longenecker, whose faith journey included years as a married Anglican priest with four children, was accepted as a candidate for priesthood in the Catholic Church, and I again flew down to witness his ordination at St. Mary’s. I read his other books: The Gargoyle Code: Lenten Letters between a Master Tempter and his diabolical Trainee, an allegory reminiscent of The Screwtape Letters; inspirational works on St. Benedict and St. Therese; Christianity, Pure and Simple, and more.
Take a minute to check out his blog, Standing on My Head.
And if you’re also a fan of Longenecker’s work, you’ll want to preorder his next book, The Romance of Religion: Fighting for Goodness, Truth, and Beauty
Lastly, Father Longenecker has an ambitious plan to build a beautiful new church at Our Lady of the Rosary, his parish in the Upstate of South Carolina. Check out the architect’s sketch and maybe, if you feel called, consider whether you can help with this project to build something beautiful for God.