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...]

Listening for the Still, Small Voice: Reflections on Kristen Vincent’s book “A Bead and a Prayer”

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“God was not in the wind…God was not in the earthquake…God was not in the fire; and after the fire, the sound of sheer silence.” (I Kings 19:11-12) We are people, used to noise and constant communication that often fragments and distracts rather than unites and focuses. At my local Cape Cod market, I sing [Read More...]

Big Enough Desires? Reflections on Jen Pollock Michel’s “Teach Us to Want”

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Jen Pollock Michel’s Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith is an honest and insightful book, born of her own experience of responding to the legion of desires characteristic of daily life as a mother, spouse, and professional seeking to be faithful to God’s call. She invites us to explore the [Read More...]

Jesus in Our Genes: A Response to Christian Piatt’s “Blood Doctrine”

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Does carrying Jesus’ DNA imply that you will embody Jesus’ spiritual unity with God? Was Jesus’ own unity with God a matter of nurture as well as nature? [Read more...]

C. S. Lewis and the Gift of Perspective: A Conversation with Alister McGrath

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I read Alister McGrath’s If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis (now featured in the Patheos Book Club) in light of the current religious and cultural polarization of our time. The United Methodist Church is conducting trials to discipline pastors who perform same sex marriages. Religious leaders protest the showing of the film Noah because they [Read More...]


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