Everyone Belongs to God: A Response to Christoph Blumhardt

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A Response to Everyone Belong to God, by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (Plough Publishing House, 2015) One of my preaching mentors Ernie Campbell once said that “there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who are in God’s hands and know it and those who are in God’s hands and don’t.” Christoph Friedrich [Read More...]

Creating a Space for Grace: Responding to Terry Hershey

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I always enjoyed Terry Hershey’s segments on Hallmark Channel’s “New Morning.” He spoke of beauty and the need for space simply to take in the wonders of life. He spoke of the need for sanctuary in the midst of busy days and challenging commitments. His book Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life [Read More...]

The Healing Power of Doubt: Responding to ‘Runaway Radical’

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Amy and Jonathan Holligsworth’s Runaway Radical is a disturbing text. I was angry as I read about how religious leaders destroyed a young man’s spiritual idealism by manipulation, authoritarianism, and absolutism. As I prepare for next week’s sermon, I’ve been reading the story of Thomas the disciple. Thomas gets a bad rap for his willingness to [Read More...]

Mary as One of Us: A Conversation with Denise Bossert’s Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth.

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In her new book, Gifts of the Visitation, Denise Bossert chronicles her adventures in discovering the role of Mary as a spiritual guide and model for her own spiritual formation. Her journey takes her from evangelical Protestantism to an orthodox understanding of Roman Catholicism. Along the way, she encounters Mary as a unique spiritual figure, divinely [Read More...]

The Grace of Interdependence: A Response to Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s ‘Vulnerable Faith’

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As a child growing up in the Salinas Valley in California, I grew up singing that grand evangelical hymn “Just as I Am,” popularized by the Billy Graham Crusades. Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s Vulnerable Faith brought me back to the revival meetings and evangelical theology of our small town Baptist church. While I no longer hold the [Read More...]

Contrast, Stature, and Having a Fat Soul: Reflections on Joan Chittister’s Between the Dark and the Daylight

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Joan Chittister’s Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life is a hymn to spiritual stature. In a world that excludes and polarizes otherness, including the otherness in ourselves, Chittister argues that wholeness involves embracing the contradictions of life. A good life involves consciously embracing the totality of our experience, even the [Read More...]

Living by Your Affirmations: Reflections on Nelson Searcy’s “Tongue Pierced”

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How you talk to yourself can change your life! So says Nelson Searcy and his writing partner Jennifer Dykes Henson in their new book, Tongue Pierced. When the Psalmist says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O God, my Rock and Salvation” (Psalm 19:4), [Read More...]


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