Engaging Voices: Reflections on Japan’s Terrible Tragedy

What is there to say in the face of the thousands of dead, the images of a wall of water engulfing homes, cars, and whole towns, and the looming threat of nuclear meltdown? As millions lack enough food and water, and hundreds of thousands huddle in makeshift shelters, we look on in shared grief, sympathy, and horror. A prayer that Something or Someone will ease their pain, a hastily written check to a relief organization, and we can go back to our daily lives. Or, perhaps, there could be a little more. If we begin with a spiritual commitment to moral self-awareness that is as common for Catholics (“confession”) as for Jews (“tshuvah), for 12–steppers (“fearless self-inventory”) as Buddhists (“mindfulness”), let’s see what that could be.
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Engaging Voices: Silence and Listening

Roger Gottlieb’s book Engaging Voices reminded me of an experience we used to have at a 5-day Christian prayer retreat program for youth ministers. The potential divisive bickering between those of different theological stripes was not only avoided, it was transcended by the invitation to silence and prayer vs. debate. [Read more...]

Energizing Trail Mix: A Review of “Engaging Voices”

As a former jail chaplain, I was drawn into both the tensions and the lighter moments of the exchanges in the prison scene from Roger Gottlieb’s “Engaging Voices.” The author’s use of stories within stories, and voices of marginalized people, took hold and the rest of the book kept hooking me with bits and pieces of questions and clarity and back into more conundrums–religious, political, cultural “drums” as these can be. [Read more...]

Engaging Voices: Let’s Begin!

As we’re drawn into the lively discussions with the spirited ‘real-life’ characters in Gottlieb’s new book, “Engaging Voices,” we’re invited to consider our own opinions and judgements on issues we care about. Each chapter opens up a new scenario for dialogue on differing points of view, and for examining how we might live and talk together with those who are so completely different from us. [Read more...]

Dancing with Scripture

Michael Card, in his book Luke: The Gospel of Amazement, describes the imagination as the bridge between mind and heart and a means of integration. His reflections on Luke’s gospel remind me of a delicious cocktail of lectio divina, Ignatian contemplation, and Midrash. [Read more...]

Digging into the Story of Scripture

The bible is, first and foremost, a story – my story, presented in pieces of poetry, prose, historical records, letters, prophetic declarations, and journals – inspired by God, written by humans – all revealing one story of God’s interaction with mankind. [Read more...]

Responsible Creativity and Informed Imagination

The briefest overview of key biblical texts reveals the engagement and creative use of the imagination as the locus of God’s power and presence. The imagination, with its currency of images and metaphors, is vital to a vibrant faith. [Read more...]


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