C.S. Lewis on Suffering, Let’s Do Lunch ~ a New Book

Alistair McGrath’s new book If I Had Lunch with C.S.Lewis is a short volume with a lively tea-and-biscuit feel that explores Lewis’s ideas on subjects related to the struggle and beauty of faith. The book’s casual presentation could be helpful to some, but I stumbled over it.  The issues addressed in Lewis’s arsenal of thought are not tea-and-biscuit fare. When Lewis himself broached such matters– heaven, education or suffering, it typically involved book-length discussions and years of evolving thought. I am… Read more

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love

                  By Wendy Murray Yesterday, February 4, what would have been Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s 108 birthday. A Lutheran pastor and theologian, Bonhoeffer was executed by hanging, age 39, in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945. He and small-but-fierce contingent of devoted Protestants actively resisted the Nazi encroachment in both church and state. They founded the Confessing Church movement to mount active resistance to government-sponsored efforts to nazify German Protestantism. His writings have influenced subsequent generations who struggle… Read more

MLK’s Christian Call and Why It Matters

By Wendy Murray Today is  Martin Luther King,.Day, which also marks the release of a new book highlighting King, his legacy and the Christian faith that animated it. Birmingham Revolution (IVP) by Edward Gilbreath, offers an intimate exploration of how King’s faith informed his vocation during the challenging issues of his time. I worked with Ed for several years where we both served as editors at Christianity Today magazine. We cut our teeth together learning the important role of religious reporting and writing. Ed recently took time to… Read more

3 Meaningful Truths to Embrace Wildly This Year

By Wendy Murray 1.  Don’t Interrupt Talk ought to be sacred because it is so light, so tenuous, so trivial, if you will; so frail and easy to destroy. Cutting short its life is worse than murder; it’s infanticide. It’s like killing a baby that’s trying to come to life. It can never be restored to life … . A good light conversation can never be put together again when it’s broken to pieces; because you can’t get back all… Read more

5 Hopes For the New Year

By Wendy Murray Dear Friends and Readers, I have been on hiatus from posting and it has been time well spent, though I apologize for the prolonged and unexplained absence from Poets & Lunatics. In the upcoming year I will be writing, as I have tried to in the past, about issues that highlight the complicated humanness with which we tangle while at the same time trying to remain people of authentic faith. I have spent these months in transition,… Read more

Remembering St. Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi died 787 years ago today, and yet he seems more alive than ever despite the passage of time. In the Catholic tradition, this anniversary marks the “Feast Day of St. Francis.” Remembering the champions who have gone before seems an appropriate tradition and one which Protestants lose out on. Francis of Assisi is certainly one whom Christians of all traditions ought to know and celebrate. I lived in Assisi when I wrote my book about St…. Read more

The Day the World Stopped

I was writing a book, titled Facing Forward, in September 2001, a memoir related to the uncertainties of mid-life. Then on a bright Tuesday morning, September 11, everything stopped. Uncertainties about mid-life were irrelevant. I joined our country in a collective lament. The world as we knew it ended that day and the world has not been the same since. I include below the concluding paragraphs of the chapter I was writing in the aftermath of  this sad day. In the end… Read more

Do Not Let Others Judge You (and Don’t Judge)

  People will judge you, of course. That is my point. Determine in your heart and mind, ahead of time, how this will affect you. Depending upon your moment in life and the circumstances in which you find yourself, others will always take liberties with opinions and conclusions about your situation, your efforts, stratagems, applied logic or whatever else. It is good if you possess the ability to thank them. It is better if, after thanking them, you think about… Read more

What You Do, Do — With a Swift Pace and Nimble Step

Clare of Assisi died 760 years ago tomorrow (August 11, 1253). Yet she remains as much a beacon for women and men of faith today as she did in her own day. For centuries the story of Clare  has been interpreted through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the one-time playboy who was destined to become Catholicism’s most popular saint. Yet her indomitable faith complements that of her guide and truest love, St. Francis, whom I wrote about… Read more

Stones Kill Everybody

One of the most confounding and at the same time consoling passages in the New Testament is that of Jesus’ encounter with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:4 to 11). Some scholars assert that this short portion of the gospel of John was not contained in the original text  since it is missing from some of the earliest manuscripts. Others demur. Regardless the episode clearly represents and is consistent with everything Jesus did and taught in his earthly ministry. 4… Read more

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