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A New Identity: Grateful Mystic

Consider becoming a grateful mystic. I use mystic as a shortcut description for a person seeing God’s kingdom now and realizing it is more than an assent to beliefs. Answers are cheap and often contradictory. Energy spent discerning real and fake news might be better spent in formulating wise questions for our time. Jesus showed wisdom by asking questions. Who do you say I am? Did you never read the scriptures? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifetime? He asked 183 questions and answered only three of them.

On the Boundary

When people of faith look at the world, they see multiple images. There is the natural world that is given, not produced by us. There is the cultural world, the objects and ideas of which are imagined, thought, built, and produced by us. And there is the supernatural world of powers, spirits, angels, and God.

No Communication

“…Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord…” Zechariah 8:21 NKJV

What is it like to go a day without media? What if you had to give up your cell phone, iPad, iPod, television, car radio, instant messaging, and computer for 24 hours? Could you do it?

In 2010, a study was conducted asking 200 students at the University of Maryland—College Park to abstain from using all media for 24 hours.

Imagine That

“Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, ‘At such and such a place shall be my camp.’ But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, ‘Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there.’ The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place so that it was on the alert.

The Awakening

The Awakening
Softly, softly the spring comes o’er the tired land
All men awake refreshed;
They rise to greet the world with joy
And birds sing, and all becomes new-born.
Gloom is but a shadow of the night long past;
Hope is the light,

Augustine and the Word of Love

In 387, Augustine, the man who would become the greatest theologian of the early Christian church, was baptized by Bishop Ambrose in Milan, giving up a glittering career in the emperor’s court and renown as a celebrated teacher of rhetoric. A year later he and several equally distinguished friends returned to North Africa and Thagaste where he was born. Settling there on his family’s estate, Augustine began a life of writing and contemplation.

Art and Morals: Two Aspects of the Same Struggle

The title of my essay is borrowed from a line in Janet Soskice’s book, The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language.1 Soskice is a feminist theologian and professor at the University of Cambridge, UK.

You Can Climb Through This Window

“This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else.” —Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Is THIS My Father’s World?

It’s on the problem of evil that reason truly stumbles, and skepticism truly triumphs. For here reason is not merely in trouble but in pain.” — Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

First Church of Common Mysteries Now Open

Every human society is an enterprise of world-building. Religion occupies a distinctive place in this enterprise…All socially constructed worlds are inherently precarious. Supported by human activity, they are constantly threatened by the human facts of self-interest and stupidity. — Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy

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