A conversation with Ben Zoba, Part 2 of 5 In this second of five installments of my conversation with farmer and community activist, Ben Zoba, he discusses the irregularities associated with the formation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 — which is run by a contingent of private bankers who wield sole control over the ebb and flow of economies worldwide. Ben sees this control, and its debilitating effects on citizens, as a singular attack on fundamental institutions, most… Read more

A conversation with Ben Zoba, Part 1 of 5 The post-holiday season stands as a stark reminder to a majority of Americans of the raw force of being in debt and the panic that is often associated with that. In this series of five podcasts, in conversation with Benjamin Zoba, I will be exploring the unsettled, sometimes hostile relationship between persons and their money. Ben is an organic farmer and community activist in a small town north of Boston who, in… Read more

A Review of When Francis Saved the Church, by Jon Sweeney (This review is part of the Patheos Book Club.)     by Wendy Murray When I was living in Assisi, Italy to work on my book about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi — titled A Mended and a Broken Heart — a friar and scholar with whom I regularly consulted exhorted me with a statement I have never forgotten: He said, “Francis is an ocean–don’t say we caught… Read more

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

                  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

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

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

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

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

  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

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