Strange Gods & Small Groups: A Match Made in…Heaven?

Twitterpraise

I'm looking forward to using this book with my students this year. We belong to a very small English speaking group in our parish in Göteborg, Sweden. Two of my students have made their Confirmation already and two of them will be making it in the Spring. I think your book will be a huge asset to me and my class and help further our discussions and our learning. -- Sam E.I am in the process of prepping my annual Suggestions for Lenten Readings, but on the advice of a few friends, I'm … [Read more...]

Andrew Sullivan is Done With the Dishes…

angry-typewriter

...he's looking for another way to live and work:Why? Two reasons. The first is one I hope anyone can understand: although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, it’s as simple as that. There comes a time when you have to move on to new things, shake your world up, or recognize before you crash that burn-out does happen.The second i … [Read more...]

Award-winning “Strange Gods” Now in Polish! (UPDATED)

Strange Gods Award

In the successive pages of this modern day City of God...Say whuuuuut? From a review of Strange Gods than left me a bit speechless, when I read it last week!A couple of days ago, I shared old news that my regular column at OSV had been honored with an award.And a friend said, "I thought it was your book, not the column, that was recognized."Which reminded me that oh, yeah, Strange Gods was also recognized by the Association of Catholic Book Publishers.No, I didn't mind … [Read more...]

On Being Distracted While at Prayer

strange gods cover tilt

Tom McDonald came across some very unhelpful advice on how to deal with distraction while at prayer. He turns to some of our Catholic prayer masters for better instruction, and you should go read it, because it's great, helpful stuff we don't read enough.But I also couldn't help remembering Sister Alice McConville, rc, who long ago gave me the sanest and simplest advice on dealing with a wandering mind at prayer. I wrote about it in Strange Gods:“To pray is to love,” she said, “and that i … [Read more...]

The “it’s an honor to be mentioned” cliche

Strange Gods, now with Study Guide!

You know that whole, "it's an honor just to be nominated" thing that people say when they discover they're up for some sort of award?It's a true thing! I know, it sounds hackneyed and cliched and false, but it's a reality.I know it's a reality, because the Association for Catholic Publisher’s Excellence in Publishing Awards has announced their finalists for titles published in 2013, and I just learned that Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life is one of them! It is a f … [Read more...]

Newhart, Bullies, Shunning, and Cliques: The High-Schoolization of America

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

I was really disappointed to read that 85 year-old comedian, Bob Newhart -- a man who managed to have not one, but two highly successful television sitcoms and end both of them on brilliant, darn near iconic notes -- recently cancelled a speaking engagement rather than have to deal with being hassled.He was to speak before a gathering of Legatus members -- a group of Catholic businessfolk who try to conform both their personal and business lives to Catholic teaching.Many of the Legatus … [Read more...]

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

For the past week or so, Patheos writers have been on a Hades kick. You might think it had something to do with Halloween, but you'd be wrong.Apparently things started with Mark Shea defended Father Robert Barron against what seems to me to be a case of misinterpretation. Whatever, I still wasn't paying much attention, because my kid got pneumonia again. And then young Ryan Adams brought in some Orthodox perspective, and suddenly there were Facebook eruptions of hellish debating and people … [Read more...]

Talking “Strange Gods” with Brandon Vogt

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One of my favorite people on the planet is Brandon Vogt, a young man of considerable energy and imagination, but also great faith and astounding generosity. No one could have faulted him, had he sought to profit from his first book, The Church and New Media, but Brandon donated 100% of the book's proceeds to establish school computer labs throughout the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya.Kathy Schiffer has mentioned meeting Brandon in Rome in 2011, for the beatification of Pope John Paul II and … [Read more...]

Francis Confounds the Associated Press

Via Matthew Schmitz' twitter feed, where he notes a sense of "disorientation."I can just hear the mainstream secular press.WAIT! WHAT? I thought we had a read on this guy! He was gonna shut up about abortion, already! Next day he's telling doctors not to perform them, and sayin' each aborted kid has the face of Christ? WHAT? That's like the WORST THING HE COULD SAY when people are actually listening!This feels like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the Football! It's almost like he's … [Read more...]

Are we making an idol of the pope who warns against them? UPDATED

Pope likes my book! Heh.

I can't think of modern pope who has so explicitly, and so frequently, warned us against the creation of idols; he mentioned idolatry early-and-often in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, and has exhorted against succumbing to it so frequently that the joke around here is: he's in a mind meld with Scalia. And of course, the other joke is this:Even when the crowds cheer him at his audiences, Francis reminds them, "cheer for Jesus, not for me"And yet, as I write this morning in the … [Read more...]


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