Forty Days with STILL

HarperOne has released a Lenten guide for reading Lauren Winner’s new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, about which I blogged last week.

READING AND DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR STILL

In Still, you will find fifty-four meditations on what it looks like to arrive at a middle place in a spiritual journey and how to respond to a feeling of God’s absence. Forty Days with Still can be used in a general way, allowing you to press in closer with the readings, or it can be used specifically as a Lenten guide. If you choose the latter, over each of the forty days of Lent you will be guided to read one to three meditations and then reflect on the question(s) that correspond with that day’s reading. Let this guide deepen your understanding of who God is and how we communicate with God even in the moments when we can’t always feel God near.

FIND IT HERE: Still Reading and Discussion Guide | HarperOne’s Small Group Guides.

Give Up Racism for Lent

Billy Kangas is giving up racism for Lent. You can help him by joining him as he reads some books and discusses them on his blog.

Today marks the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday. Every year millions of Christians give up certain foods and activities for the 40 days (not including Sundays) leading up to Easter.

This year, in addition to my regular dietary restrictions, in honor of Black History Month, which we are in the midst of and in the spirit of corporal works of mercy for Lent, I have decided to give up racism for Lent.

Although I generally don’t think of myself as a racist, I can recognize in myself a lot of white privilege I take for granted and I know that I often participate in structures that prolong the oppression of minority races here in Chicago and the nation at large.


I would like to stop doing this, but I know it’s going to be hard.This is where I need help. I don’t know the first thing about not being a racist. My friend Dominique Gilliard made a bibliography for me this month, as well as linking to a number of videos on the subject. Compiling these resources I have decided to create a project to help me learn with others about what it means to be a Christian in a world of racial tensions. Will you help me? Take a look at the resources below and JOIN IN the project. [Read the list of books.]

There’s one book I’d like him to add to the list: Race: A Theological Account.

Has It All Been Said?


I’m making my way through Wolf Hall, an amazing and complex novel based in England during the reign of Henry VIII. Many of the characters — all Catholic so far — are wringing their hands in consternation over the writings of Martin Luther. Those writings are making it into the hands of some of the young theological scholars in Henry’s court, and are, of course, having an influence.

Which got me to thinking about how earth-shattering were Luther’s writings in his day. His writings were outrageous, but not in a crazy way. In a way that made complete sense to an entire swath of Christendom.

And further got me wondering if anything today could have such a profound impact on how millions of people understand God.

I don’t think so. With millions of megabytes of data being added to the internet everyday — much of it outrageous — I think that we may be beyond the outrageous, at least theologically. Also, there is no one, monolithic theological institution to be outraged, as there was in Luther’s day.

It did occur to me that some breakthrough in science could turn everything upside down, as Luther did.

What say you? Is there anything new to be said about God?

How I Got My Publishers to Drop the Price of My Books to $.99

Short answer: I asked.

Longer answer:

In November, I started thinking about Christmas. Not what I would get, or what I would give. Instead, I was listening to all of the reports about iPads and Kindles that were going to be sold over the holidays. Combine that with millions of dollars given on Amazon gift cards, and I thought: There are going to be a lot of ebooks sold in the two weeks after Christmas!

So I composed an email and sent it to every publisher with whom I’ve had a book in the past. I asked them if they’d be willing to drop the price of my ebooks in to $.99 for one week, starting on Christmas. All but one did, but it took some coaxing. As a result, we (Doug Pagitt and I) sold a bunch of books.

Here are my tips, based on this experience:

[Read more...]


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