March 14, 2015

Writing Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith was fun. Getting the book ready for publication has been almost as fun. (If you haven’t seen the book yet, visit to learn more.) We writers hate to leave our garrets. Some people would rather be fishing, or playing tennis, or hiking the Pacific Coast Trail under a withering sun. But some of us would truly rather be at our desks, rubbing words together, looking for sparks. Some parts of the process of… Read more

March 12, 2015

Phil Cousineau, host of TV’s “Global Spirit,” has several nice things to say about my new book, Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith. But I’m especially touched by his thought that “seekers of all persuasions” will find a place in Wrestling with God. That was one of my hopes when I embarked upon what turned out to be a decade-long project. I hoped that my book would be an interfaith place where people of diverse traditions, temperaments — and persuasions — could get together to… Read more

March 10, 2015

This is a big day for me, a writer’s milestone — the big launch celebration of my book, Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith. You can learn more and buy the book at Wrestling with God is an interfaith book for seekers of every stripe, and it’s getting praise from reviewers from Alabama to California — including a starred review from Publishers Weekly. This book — my first — has been a labor of love for me. Work on it… Read more

March 7, 2015

Once again, it was time to crack out the champagne. I’ve had more than my share of  champagne days in recent years. There was the day I was offered a book  contract by Patheos Press for my book, Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith. My husband responded to the news by making a run down to the supermarket for a bottle of sparkly. The day I turned in the final manuscript called for another celebration. (I think my editor might… Read more

March 3, 2015

Atheists are not winning many popularity contests in the U.S. right now. A 2014 poll found them close to the bottom of the heap when it comes to how people view members of the various faith groups. Popular or unpopular, more and more American atheists will soon be declaring their unbelief to friends, family and coworkers — as will agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and seculars. At least, that is the hope of a new movement called Openly Secular. Nontheists are tired of the discrimination they experience in… Read more

February 24, 2015

By Barbara Falconer Newhall The occasion was a two-fer book talk by two Catholics. Kaya Oakes would be talking about her Catholicism-to-atheism-and-back-to-Catholicism memoir, Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church. And Catholic memoirist Richard Rodriguez would be talking about his (more…) Read more

February 17, 2015

By Barbara Falconer Newhall Giving up something — making a change in our lives — for Lent is tough. That’s partly because change can be so painful. Here are some that have come my way: An oak tree in the canyon below our house split in half a year or two ago. Thirty feet of living, striving branches and twigs fell downhill. A cherished rural landscape in faraway Michigan – near my father’s 1912 birthplace – was transformed a few years ago by… Read more

February 10, 2015

I like to think of God as nice. Nice as in helping out with some extra wine at a wedding when the host’s supply runs out. Nice as in “Suffer little children . . . to come unto me.” Nice as in forgiving everybody’s sins, Jacob’s, David’s, an adulteress’s, mine. But God is not nice, not always. God is also – fierce. In Hebrew Scripture, for example, a chariot and horses of fire descend to the earth as the prophet Elijah… Read more

February 3, 2015

For most of my adult life I wasn’t so sure about God. That such a thing could exist seemed far-fetched, too good to be true. But now that I’m firmly located in the second half of my life – okay, okay, the third third of my life (and no, I’m not calling it the last third of my life – I’m not ready to go there – yet) . . . now that I’ve moved along in my life, past… Read more

January 27, 2015

By Barbara Falconer Newhall It was February, early spring in California, when I spotted a wild fruit tree – an apple? a plum? – blossoming in the canyon below our house. Was it really a flowering tree down there in that steep, dry, unlikely place? Was I seeing things? (more…) Read more

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