Two Ways of Reading

…I believe that most people who read the Bible as Scripture do so in one of two ways: compliantly or conversantly… …Compliant readers are individuals whose basic instinct is to read the Bible trustingly. Those who read this way accept the Bible’s claims, adopt its values, and embrace its assumptions without necessarily giving serious consideration

Food for Thought: Restraint

These words from Gandhi were quoted in Quiet: I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. A thoughtless word hardly ever escaped my tongue or pen. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. We find so many people impatient to talk. All this

Marvelous luggage

Whether you are sick or well, lovely or irregular, there comes a time when it is vitally important for your spiritual health to drop your clothes, look in the mirror, and say, “Here I am. This is the body-like-no-other that my life has shaped. I live here. This is my soul’s address.” After you have

Bursting with God-news

Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: “Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.” (Luke 1:28, The Message) This afternoon I heard the song “Breath of Heaven” on the way home from the grocery store. It’s a song I’ve always assumed I liked, but today I realized: I don’t,

Recent reading: “the encroachment of the buzz”

I read this the other day in The Lost Art of Reading by David L. Ulin. I wonder if anyone else relates. This, I think, is something on which we can agree: to read, we need a certain kind of silence, an ability to filter out the noise. That seems increasingly elusive in our overnetworked

Quiet he lies

Our pastor has been taking a close look at what some of our traditional Christmas carols have to teach us. It’s making this richest of seasons even richer. Yesterday while teaching on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” he brought some lines from a poem by Luci Shaw to our attention. I wasn’t familiar with the

Living the questions

I love this quote from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet: …Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… Do not… seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live

G.K. Chesterton on “tired democracy”

Do we think of democracy as the pinnacle — the culmination of long striving toward a fuller expression of human ideals — the summit of human progress? G.K. Chesterton, writing in 1925, points out that such a view may have it backwards: If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that

Pathological — or “normal”?

In my study of growing up in a networked culture, I meet many children and teenagers who feel cast off. Some have parents with good intentions who simply work several jobs and have little time for their children. Some have endured divorce — sometimes multiple divorces — and float from one parent to another, not

Chesterton’s advice to writers

Some passages just need to be shared. This one is from the chapter “The Romance of Orthodoxy” (in Orthodoxy). Chesterton is on his way to a larger point, but I have to stop and smile here for a bit: Most of the machinery of modern language is labour-saving machinery; and it saves mental labour very