Wearing God — Lauren Winner’s New Book is Full of Surprises About God

Did you know that the Bible describes God as a "laboring woman"?How often do you think of God as someone who smells things? Do smells really make a difference for God? If so, what does that mean?How often do you look at a piece of bread and think of God?And while we're on the subject of bread — is white bread really appropriate for communion?These are just a few of the subjects explored in the new book by Lauren F. Winner. Order this book — Wearing God — for yourself, and for thos … [Read more...]

The Lone Bellow, U2, Bob Dylan, and Aaron Strumpel – or, How I Learned to Stop Scowling and Love Liturgy

Catholics. Among the fundamentalist evangelicals who surrounded me as I was growing up, the word bordered the obscene. I trusted that there were good reasons for this. I was always quick to believe unflattering things that adults told me about other cultures, communities, and church denominations. I felt more secure if could dismiss as a waste of time—or as the way of fools and villains—what I did not understand. And from a distance, Catholic tradition looked suspiciously foreign, weird, and mys … [Read more...]

Back to the Budapest Hotel: Second Impressions

Under the cover of night, Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) escapes from prison and finds that "The Divine Zero" (Tony Revolori) has dutifully arrived to rescue him... … [Read more...]

There Are No “Good People” and “Bad People”: A Must-Read Response to the Hurt and the Heroism at Seattle Pacific University

What really happened at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday?Did a "bad guy" show up on campus? Did "good guys" overcome him? … [Read more...]

Revisiting Jesse and Celine’s Holy Moments “Before Sunrise”

In January of 1995, when I first watched Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, I think I liked the idea of the movie more than the movie itself.I loved the idea of two strangers meeting on a train, spontaneously jumping off in Vienna, and wandering through the city's night life lost in a meandering and unpredictable conversation. It was as rare a pleasure for moviegoers then as it is today. (Note: Abbas Kairostami's Certified Copy may have been inspired, in part, by this film, and it's my … [Read more...]

Sorry! (A Temporary Blog Malfunction)

If you've been checking this blog recently, then you may have seen something strange: Old blog entries suddenly reappearing as if they were brand new, with no explanation.I can explain what's happening, but only in part... … [Read more...]

“The Master”: Too Much Art for Oscar?

I'm grateful to David Dark, author of one of my favorite books — The Sacredness of Questioning Everything — for highlighting this article by Tyler Sage on Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master, published at The Los Angeles Review of Books.It is so refreshing, after reading a storm of hasty reactions, wild accusations, and complaints about this "difficult" work of art, to read such a thoughtful, patient, studious consideration of this film.Here's how it starts... … [Read more...]

A Best-Selling Brain Scientist, a Renowned Memoirist, a Grammy-Winning Rock Star, a Legendary Book Reviewer, a Celebrated Poet, and a Fantasy Writer Walk Into a Texas Retreat Center…

Sounds like the setup for a big joke, doesn't it?In fact, it describes the 2012 Laity Lodge Writer's Retreat.Are you a writer looking for inspiration? Guidance? An unforgettable vacation in one of America's most beautiful places?You're invited to register now, so you can join me and some amazing writers at Laity Lodge in just a few weeks. Relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Frio River Canyon in the breathtaking Hill Country of Texas. Regardless if you are a … [Read more...]

Have You Ever Walked Out of a Movie? Which One? And Why?

Maybe you've done this very thing. If so, I'd love to hear about it.Last night, I walked out of a movie.I wasn't going for popcorn. I didn't need to visit the Men's Room (although the movie did make me sick to my stomach). … [Read more...]

Jubil-ation in February

In February, I'll be heading out to Pittsburgh for a huge release party for the last book in The Auralia Thread! … [Read more...]