Archives For Lent

 

A Bounty of Literary Beauty
for Lent and Easter

A Review of

Between Midnight and Dawn:
A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide
Compiled by Sarah Arthur

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle
 
Reviewed by Alex Joyner

 

I can’t be alone in thinking that, when Dorothy discovers that her ruby red slippers have (and always have had) the power to take her home, it is one of the most profound theological insights in American pop culture.  Or that the death of Stringer Bell was a moment where the ability of the TV series The Wire to plumb the depths of the human condition was most on display.  I like my piety with a little artistic license.  “Tell all the truth,” as Emily Dickinson said, “but tell it slant.”

Sarah Arthur, who compiled the great new Lenten and Eastertide literary prayer guide, Between Midnight and Dawn, is a kindred spirit in this.  She introduces her collection by comparing the movement from Lent to Easter with night to dawn and winter to spring, but don’t believe her.  She’s got far more tender and terrifying territory to cover in this beautiful, bountiful book.

Continue Reading…

 

May Christ Increase.

 
A Review of 
 

40 Days of Decrease:
A Different Kind of Hunger.
A Different Kind of Fast.

Alicia Britt Chole

Paperback: Thomas Nelson, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Debbie Philpott

 

The more there is of us, the less there is of God!—Eugene Peterson

 

“What are you giving up for Lent?”

According to Morgan Lee at Christianity Today, a 2015 OpenBible.info twitter poll of more than 400,000 respondents (with serious and cynical tweets) cited “school, chocolate, Twitter itself, alcohol, and social networking as the top five fasts for Lent”[i]  And when categorizing all tweets in hierarchical order according to the seven most deadly sins, the following list resulted:

  • Gluttony (fast food, sweets, chips, coffee)
  • Greed (shopping)
  • Sloth (sleep)
  • Wrath (being mean, swearing)
  • Envy (complaining)
  • Pride (cell phone, selfies)[ii]

Continue Reading…

 

John Henry Newman

Tomorrow (Feb. 21) is the birthday of Cardinal John Henry Newman…
Here are a few of our favorite poems of his:

 

The Sign of the Cross

John Henry Newman

WHENE’ER across this sinful flesh of mine
I draw the Holy Sign,
All good thoughts stir within me, and renew
Their slumbering strength divine;
Till there springs up a courage high and true
To suffer and to do.

And who shall say, but hateful spirits around,
For their brief hour unbound,
Shudder to see, and wail their overthrow?
While on far heathen ground
Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odor, though
Its source he cannot know.
 

NEXT POEM >>>>>

Continue Reading…

 

Alexander Schmemann

Since the Christmas holiday, I have been enjoying Alexander Schmemann’s classic book For the Life of the World.

I also recently discovered that a pamphlet that he wrote on Lent is available in the Public Domain.

The following piece is adapted from that pamphlet.

DOWNLOAD the full pamphlet for Kindle!

(Alt.Kindle, epub and versions for other e-readers
are available at Project Gutenberg…)

 
 


 

Lent in the Orthodox Tradition
Alexander Schmemann

Continue Reading…

 

Lent is almost upon us again …

(Ash Wednesday is Feb 18…)

I’ve been asked a few times recently to recommend some books on Lenten themes that churches might read and discuss this year during Lent. And since, I think reading and discussing books together is an important practice for the health and well-being of churches, here are 10 new-ish books that would be appropriate for reading and discussion during Lent.  I offer each one with a brief explanation of why I have included it.

NOTE: I’m not recommending that any church or individual should read ALL of these books during Lent, but wanted to offer a range of options so that churches might have some flexibility in picking a book to read and discuss during Lent.

Meeting God in Mark: Reflections for the Season of Lent


By Rowan Williams

I’ll start with the only traditional collection of Lenten reflections on this list.  Normally, I’m not a big fan of this sort of devotional-type books, but Rowan Williams is always thoughtful (and sometimes provocative), and this book’s focus on Mark’s Gospel challenges us to stay focused on Jesus, which is an important reminder in our age of ideology.

Book 1 of 10
NEXT BOOK >>>>>

[ This list as a 1-Page Printable PDF ]

Continue Reading…

 


Repentance

George Herbert

[Today is the feast of George Herbert, who died on this day in 1633]

*** Books by George Herbert

George HerbertLord, I confess my sin is great;
Great is my sin. Oh! gently treat
With your quick flower, your momentary bloom;
        Whose life still pressing
        Is one undressing,
A steady aiming at a tomb.

 

Man’s age is two hours work, or three:
Each day does round about us see.
Thus are we to delights: but we are all
        To sorrows old,
        If like be told
From what life feels of Adam’s fall. Continue Reading…

 

The Wake Up CallThe Wake Up Call –
13 February 2013

 

Like the smell of strong coffee wafting down the hall, we offer a few book-related thoughts and stories to jumpstart your day…

*** Receive an email with The Wake Up Call (and daily ERB posts) in your inbox each morning! Sign up for The Daily Book Morsel

 


 

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent…
ERB Editor Chris Smith wrote a new piece on Lent for The Good Men Project,
entitled Fasting Toward the Common Good.
(Check it out, and if you like it, share it with others…)

 

Poems of the Day: Two poems for Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot and Walter Brueggemann

 

“The richness of the world, all artificial pleasures, have the taste of sickness and give off a smell of death in the face of certain spiritual possessions.” – Painter Georges Rouault, who died on this day in 1958
*** Books on Rouault’s work

 

Book News:

 

The Lent Lily
A.E. Housman

‘Tis spring; come out to ramble
The hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble Continue Reading…

 

[ This is not something that we have done before, but given the boldness of John Piper’s recent remarks that Christianity must have “a masculine feel,” (LGT: Scot’s McKnight’s summary) I felt compelled to post my editorial for our forthcoming print issue here, as it is a response to Piper that states in no uncertain terms that we do not share his vision of the Kingdom of God. ]

As I sit down to write this editorial,

the internet has been abuzz for the last couple of weeks over John Piper’s recent comments that Christianity must necessarily have “a masculine feel.” I do not want to demonize John Piper, and even here at Englewood Christian Church, we bear the baggage of a long history of thinking and abiding in a masculine-dominated fashion similar to that described by Piper.  However, we must be clear, this sort of patriarchy is a part of the old older of things that is passing away.  The Kingdom of God is a new order in which there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female (Gal. 3:28).  Paul’s point in this passage, as he makes clear in the latter part of the same verse, is not that we should deny these characteristics, but that in Christ’s new creation, they no longer serve to divide us.  Jesus put it more directly, his way was not one of domination (Matt. 20:25-28).

Continue Reading…

 

835492: The Kingdom and the Cross

A Review of

The Kingdom and the Cross

By James Bryan Smith
Paperback: IVP Books, 2011.

Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Reviewed by Kevin Book-Satterlee.

Nails, wooden crossbeams, and a crown of thorns converge to symbolize the death of Jesus.  Lent is a time of reflection upon accumulation of these symbols.  Quite possibly best represented in a wall-mount crucifix or gleaming icon, the Protestant tradition often forgets this season and its purpose in reorienting towards the kingdom of God.

James Bryan Smith, cofounder of the Renovaré movement, has published a new booklet, The Kingdom and the Cross (InterVarsity Press), which serves as a timely Lenten reflection of Jesus’s death.  Smith’s major recent publishing contributions have been the books of the Apprentice Series (InterVarsity Press); The Kingdom and the Cross continues in the vein of reflective writing, characteristic of Smith’s works.

Continue Reading…