Archives For Faith

 

A Nerdy Faith
 
 
A Brief Review of
 

Faith Across the Multiverse:
Parables from Modern Science

Andy Walsh 

Paperback: Hendrickson, 2018.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Fred Redekop
 
 
Andy Walsh writes his new book Faith Across the Multiverse: Parables from Modern Science, for an audience to which I do not belong (at least in this present universe). Walsh has a PhD in microbiology and has done postdoctoral work in computational biology. Suffice it to say that he is a scientist, and also a deep thinker about the intersections of both science and faith.

I had trouble getting through much of the science that Walsh offers, and admit to having skimmed many parts of the book, particularly the four chapters: “The Language of Mathematics,” “The Language of Physics,” “The Language of Biology,” and “The Language of Computer Science.” I took my last science or math course in Grade 12, so I am not well-versed in this kind of language at all. I have a great interest in science questions, and I do not think that science and faith are opposites. They should be able to be discussed as ways to understand God, but I know that many people see them as archenemies of theological conversation.

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The Possibility for Something Better

A Review of

Future Home of the Living God
Louise Erdrich

 
Hardback: HarperCollins, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 
 
Reviewed by Leslie A. Klingensmith
 
 
 
White liberalism.  Roman Catholic theology.  Native American displacement.  Women’s rights.  Cross cultural adoption.  Government intrusion.  Reproductive choice.  Evolution.  Science vs. Faith. Global warming. Creation spirituality.  Motherhood.  These are some of the  issues that Louise Erdrich addresses – either explicitly or implicitly – in her latest novel Future Home of the Living God.  I loved the book.  Erdrich’s ability to touch on so many important topics without being self-righteous or pedantic should be the envy of all who aspire to write.  She has written a story that somehow manages to be both terrifying and hopeful – and all too possible.  I read the book as those of us who live within the rhythm of the church year were about to start the liturgical season of Advent.  As unlikely as it might seem, this futuristic tale is eerily (and beautifully) perfect for Advent.  Erdrich has created a narrative that confronts us with the hope of the Incarnation (begun with Jesus’ unlikely birth) but also the revelation that every birth, especially ones that take place against the backdrop of a world in turmoil, bears a hint of incarnation.

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Humble Confessions
 
A Review of

Presence and Process:
A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community
Daniel P. Coleman

Paperback: Barclay Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Josina Guess
 
 
 

First Confession:  I did not know that Process Theology was a thing until I read this book. In an interview with Tripp York on the Homebrewed Christianity podcast, Daniel Coleman said that he was looking for “Process Theology for Dummies” when he set out to write this book. Presence and Process does a concise job of introducing and distilling thoughts and concepts that are usually confined to academic circles. Coleman’s thorough research and careful gleaning of a wide variety of quotes from monks, nuns and masters throughout the ages offer lay readers lots of helpful nuggets of truth and could whet a reader’s appetite for deeper exploration. I still got a bit bogged down by the jargon, but appreciated that there were practical suggestions rooted in Christian teaching.

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Learning to Let Go.

A Feature Review of

The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More than Our “Correct” Beliefs
Peter Enns

Hardback: Harper One, 2016.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Bob Cornwall.

 

The book of Hebrews declares that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). The author of Hebrews tells us that our spiritual ancestors received approval for their faith, even though they could not see their hopes come to fruition. To live by faith is to trust your life to a God who remains unseen. Nevertheless, many of us have a need more certainty than this. There is a need on the part of many for a bit more definition of the faith. That leads to a desire for what Peter Enns calls “correct” beliefs. Whether those correct beliefs emerge from Scripture or from tradition, they offer a sense of certainty. Peter Enns learned the hard way that this can be dangerous. Thus, he concluded that the search for certainty is in itself a matter of sin.

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Today marks the anniversary of the death of Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon…

Schulz’s Christian faith played an important role in his work.  This new book explores his faith.

A Charlie Brown Religion: Exploring the Spiritual Life and Work of Charles M. Schulz
Stephen Lind

Hardback: UP of Mississippi, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon  ] [ Kindle ]
 
*** Browse collections of Peanuts cartoons
 

Here is a brief video interview with the author…

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God Dwelling in the Commonplace

A Review of

Playdates with God: Having Childlike Faith in A Grownup World
Laura Boggess

Paperback: Leafwood, 2014.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Zena Neds-Fox.

 
Laura Boggess starts her spiritual memoir Playdates with God with one of the most resonant spiritual dilemmas.  Sehnsucht – a German word best translated as nostalgia or a deep longing for a far-off home.  Or as CS Lewis puts it, “our best havings are wantings.”  The blue flower – the desiring of some lasting, perfect thing to fulfill us.  The hum in each person that reminds them, whether or not they want reminding, that they were made for more.  That propulsion towards God is the journey Boggess takes us on; how she recognized it, how she entertained it, and what it has taught her, going down the roads it lead her to.
 
Playdates is quite readable, and though Boggess cites philosophical sources as her inspirations, she writes in an uncomplicated way that makes walking with God seem as plain as everyday potatoes.  She’s a simple girl, admittedly so. When trying to locate what it is that will satisfy her soul, she lands at falling in love and all the giddy feelings that come along with it.  She sets out to fall in love with her creator, over and over again, through a series of, as she calls them, playdates.

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Wise and Comforting Words

A Review of

The Grand Paradox:The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of FaithKen Wytsma

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
This review originally appeared on The Slow Church Blog on Patheos.

 
In my early years of college, I went through somewhat of a crisis of faith, questioning who God was and how God relates to humanity. It was a pretty bleak time, but eventually through long series of conversations with friends and through reading certain works of writers in the Christian tradition like C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle and Frederick Buechner, I eventually grew into a deeper, more resilient understanding of God, and of how God is at work in humanity.

This crisis in my own life came to mind as I was reading Ken Wytsma’s new book The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith. I suspect that had it been in existence over two decades ago, when I was in college, I would have found this book immensely helpful and comforting amidst my struggles.

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Our Book Trailer video of the week…

 

The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, The Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith
Ken Wytsma

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2015
(Book releases January 27th)
 
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
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Journey Before Destination

 A review of

Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging

Joshua Doležal

Paperback: U of Iowa Press, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Sam Edgin

 

It may be the case that the highest praise a book can earn within the confines of a sentence is this: “I read it in one sitting.” Six words, seven syllables, and wrapped within them the praise equivalent to mountains of gold. A book that was read in a single sitting, a book that breathed deep and swelled its breast to engulf a person until it was done with them, is special kind of book. Most people know the pull of such a thing, and they chase after it.

 

So when I say that I read Joshua Doležal’s Down from the Mountaintop in its entirety on a sunny Monday morning, I mean it as high praise. Doležal weaves his words with sincerity, managing to convey genuine emotion in his reflections. He has an uncanny knack for detail, and constantly leaves simple beauty shimmering behind our eyes. Images like him and his father playing catch in their uneven and violently sloped front yard, his mother reading to him and his sister on a blanket beneath a tree and the swing of his mattock as he works trails in the mountains in summer heat stick with the reader. His prose is masterful, and turns the story of his relatively ordinary life into a beautiful adventure.

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January 15 marks the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Mainstream American culture tends to have a narrow view of King’s work, limited primarily to his leadership in the Civil Rights movement. However, King’s vision was rooted in the desire for a beloved community in which not only were all people equal, but in which all violence, poverty and injustice were abolished — a vision that flowed from King’s deep faith in the life and teachings of Jesus.  In the following slideshow, we introduce the breadth of King’s prophetic faith, by means of 15 memorable quotes.

Please download and share these slides on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. as you see fit…

[ The Essential Box Set of King’s Speeches and Sermons ]

Martin Luther King

 

NEXT – QUOTE #2   >>>>>>

Which of these quotes from Martin Luther King
speaks to you most powerfully?

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