Finding Spirituality in Suffering: Heather King’s “Stripped”

Stripped, Heather King’s new memoir on faith in the midst of a cancer diagnosis, brought to mind words from Viktor Frankl: “There is one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.” Pain and illness, loss and persecution, are moral and spiritual issues. They may drive us away from God. We may seek revenge on [Read More…]

Wherever There is Truth, God is its Source: On ‘The Gospel of Happiness’

Book Reflection: The Gospel of Happiness by Christopher Kaczor Can science and faith work together for the common good? Are the aims of psychology and theology similar in nature? Can psychology illuminate theology and theology support human flourishing as envisioned by psychology? Christopher Kaczor once saw faith and psychology as inhabiting two different and parallel [Read More…]

Within The Trauma, A Blessing: Reba Riley’s “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann describes three interconnected moods in the Psalms – psalms of orientation, celebration of the goodness of life and our current blessed personal and social location; psalms of disorientation, lamentations when things fall apart and the future is dim; and new orientation, the joy of healing and recovery, in which things never [Read More…]

The Heroine’s Journey: On Jody Gentian Bower’s “Jane Eyre’s Sisters”

On my study desk sits a paperweight that announces “solvitur ambulando,” or “it will be solved in the walking.” Jody Gentian Bower’s Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine’s Story could easily be described as “it will be solved in the wandering.” As I read this insightful text, transformative for both women and [Read More…]

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

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…]

Refreshing the Pastor’s Soul: In Conversation with Michael Voss’s Reviving the Congregation

Leadership is a spiritual issue, especially in congregational life. As Michael Voss notes in his Reviving the Congregation, pastoral leadership involves not only a pastor’s skills but also her or his personal well-being and spiritual life. Pastoral excellence is skill centered and we should always aim at excellence, as Voss notes. But, this excellence ultimately [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – August 24, 2014

The Adventurous Lectionary – August 24, 2014- Eleventh Sunday after the Pentecost Exodus 1:8-2:10 Psalm 124 Romans 12:1-8 Matthew 16:13-20 Today’s readings invite us to ponder our unique vocations and relationship with God. Our gifts shape and are shaped by the community of Christ. In living out our gifts, we share in God’s vision of [Read More…]


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