Archives For Prophet


Liberty Hyde Bailey

Tomorrow (March 15) is the birthday of one of my favorite poets, Liberty Hyde Bailey.

Bailey was one of the most prominent American botanists and horticulturalists of the early twentieth century.  He was also an agrarian writer and one of the fathers of the Country Life Movement, and yes, also a nature poet.

Here you can read some of his poems that have been posted on our site over the last 6 years:


Here is the introduction to the newest edition of Bailey’s main collection of poems WIND AND WEATHER, in which I argue why Bailey’s voice is an important one for our times…

“The Prophetic Power of Poetry”

An Introduction to
Wind and Weather.
by Liberty Hyde Bailey.

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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1619021986″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”” width=”232″ alt=”Wendell Berry” ]This important hour-long video on Wendell Berry was just released by Bill Moyers…

Watch for Wendell Berry’s newest book, which will be released soon:

This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979-2012
Wendell Berry

Hardback:  Counterpoint, 2013.
Buy now:  [ [easyazon-link asin=”1619021986″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ] 

*** [easyazon-link keywords=”Wendell Berry” locale=”us”]Other Books by Wendell Berry[/easyazon-link]

[ FREE MP3s of Wendell Berry
Reading his Poems


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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1414339356″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”107″ alt=”Alister McGrath”]Read an excerpt from Alister McGrath’s brand new biography of C.S. Lewis…


[ One of our new book releases
to watch for this week
… ]



C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet

Alister McGrath

Hardback: Tyndale, 2013.
Buy now: [ [easyazon-link asin=”1414339356″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ] [ [easyazon-link asin=”B008PX0GPI” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]


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“Uncompromising Reconciliation and Resistance”

A Review of

Writings on Reconciliation and Resistance.
Will Campbell.
Paperback: Cascade Books, 2010.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Stephen Lawson.

Will Campbell - Reconciliation and ResistancePartisanship seems to be on the rise these days. In Washington, talk of health care reform has brought out the dark side of our public discourse. Politicians and pundits on both sides heave verbal stones at one another. The result is a political slight of hand. The comparison of each party’s institutional self conception is left to the wayside and we are left with banal laments about the loss of civility in public discourse. This partisanship has crept in to our churches time and again. Churches maintain their pristine institutions by demonizing the ‘other.’ Whether the ‘other’ is the avowed liberal socialist or the red-state hillbilly it really makes no difference. We find our identity by saying who is in and who is out.

It is in a situation such as this that a voice like Will Campbell’s needs to be heard. Will Campbell is a prophet of a different kind of Christianity, one marked by uncompromising reconciliation and resistance. For Campbell, Christ has already reconciled everything. If Christ has really reconciled everything, then this means not only that he has reconciled the marginalized blacks in the American South, but also that he has reconciled the most stanch racists and Ku Klux Klaners. If we believe in Christ’s work of reconciliation, then we know that there is nothing that we do, there is only something we can be. There are not programs or institutions that will bring about reconciliation, but only unrestrained friendships and offering of ourselves. This is summed up in Campbell’s memorable summation of the gospel in eight words (two fewer than he was allotted): “We’re all bastards, but God loves us anyway” (8). It is this unwillingness to recognize anything other than our universal sinfulness and the universal reconciliation offered through Christ that has resulted in Campbell’s prophetic stance. He was friends with Dr. King and with Grand Dragons of the Ku Klux Klan. His refusal to acquiesce to the divisive labels that divide people whom Christ has already reconciled serves as a witness to us.

At the same time, Campbell offered a powerful resistance to institutions; be they exemplified in churches, governments, or universities. All of these institutions go about trying to do the work that Christ has already done, and they imprison people in their work of institutional self-preservation. For Campbell, this means that the fundamentalist, sectarian, serpent-handling church is closer to the truth of the gospel than the well-off socially acceptable and quiescent mainline churches.

Campbell is truly a prophet. As such, he doesn’t fit into our ideological labels of left and right. He seems to be an enigma, a contradiction. But for him this is not contradiction. “Thus my seeming contradictions, in a life which has spanned almost 70 years, reflect an effort to survive as a human being, free of other archies which inevitably define a channel in which its adherents must swim or be excluded, and which, by nature, are enslaving, for they claim ultimate allegiance” (63).

This collection of various short (and often unpublished or hard to find) excerpts from Campbell’s extensive writings serves to give the reader a broad-sweeping introduction to Campbell’s unique and uncompromising witness. They are arranged in topical order, which is very helpful in getting to the core of Campbell’s thought.

One negative about this collection is that it bears the markings of being over-edited. In effort to keep the excerpts short, I feel that Goode has often cut too much out. However, the overabundance of ellipses should not detract the potential reader from checking into this important and challenging book.

More books by Will Campbell from :

12688: Brother to a Dragonfly, 25th Anniversary Edition Brother to a Dragonfly, 25th Anniversary Edition

By Will D. Campbell / Continuum International

(PUBContinuum)”For a generation of Southern Baptist seminarians this book has functioned as a rite of passage. Ministerial candidates seeking liberation from the suburban captivity of the church have found in this classic American autobiography a compelling narrative of moral conversion,”—Church History. 288 pages, softcover.

44492: The Stem of Jesse: The Costs of Community at a 1960s Southern School The Stem of Jesse: The Costs of Community at a 1960s Southern School

By Will D. Campbell / Mercer Press

$2.99 !!!

The Stem of Jesse is about the ironies of history, the ambiguities of even the best-intentioned of human actions, the complicity of all human beings in the histories of their respective societies, and crucial roles of repentance and forgiveness in the health of any society.

460841: The Convention: A Parable The Convention: A Parable

By Will Campbell / Mercer Press


Organized religion has become more fractured in recent years. The faithful within traditional denominations have divided into warring camps. But how does all this look and sound to outsiders? Indefatigable Will Campbell puts a mirror up to our souls in this riveting parable of a fictional Baptist convention. 416 pages, softcover. Mercer University.

12300: Soul Among Lions Soul Among Lions

$0.99 !!!

By Will Campbell / Westminster John Knox Press

A collection of thirty meditations challenging readers toward a more conscientious faith. Campbell combines scripture and homespun humor with a deceptive naivete to indict the hypocritical and the self-righteous, striking to the core of such issues as the death penalty, race relations, religious pluralism, and flag burning. Illustrations by award-winning artist Jim Hsieh.


“Finally Comes the Poet

A Review of
Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings.
Selected and Introduced by John Dear.

Reviewed by Stephen Lawson.

After the seas are all cross’d, (as they seem already cross’d,)
After the great captains and engineers have accomplish’d their work,
After the noble inventors, after the scientists, the chemist, the
geologist, ethnologist,

Finally shall come the poet worthy that name,
The true son of God shall come singing his songs.
– Walt Whitman

Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings.
Selected and Introduced by John Dear.
Paperback: Orbis Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Daniel Berrigan: Essential WritingsOn May 17, 1968, in the midst of the Vietnam War, Daniel Berrigan, together with his brother Philip and seven others, walked into a draft office in Cantonsville, Maryland. They commandeered draft files, which contained the information for potential draftees, took them into the parking lot and burned them with homemade napalm. Daniel Berrigan issued an apology (read: defense) on behalf of the ‘Cantonsville Nine’ (as they came to be known): “Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise” (105).

This prophetic action cause national controversy. In the midst of an already highly controversial war, the Cantonsville Nine brought religion into the discussion. How could priests and other peaceable people disrupt the status quo of in such a stark way? This action saw the imprisonment of Christians, clergy and laity alike, for living out what they believed was their faith. This witness is a challenge to other Christians who have so often been complicit in war and violence.
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A Brief Review of

Dom Helder Camara:
Essential Writings
Edited by Francis McDonagh.

Paperback: Orbis Books, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

DOM HELDER CAMARA: ESSENTIAL WRITINGSEqual parts prophet, priest and poet, Dom Helder Camara was one of the twentieth century’s most striking voices in the cry against the excesses of Western culture.  Unfortunately, today as the crises brought on by our excessive lifestyles in the West only continue to escalate, the life and work of this Brazilian priest is not known well enough.  Thankfully, however, Orbis Books — who has long been the primary publisher of Camara’s works in English translation — has released a wonderful introduction, one of the newest volumes in their “Modern Spiritual Masters” Series.  Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings was edited by Francis McDonagh, who also wrote a useful introduction to the book, which offers a brief biography and begins to frame a context in which Camara can be understood.  After McDonagh’s introduction, the remainder of the book consists of excerpts from Camara’s works, organized thematically.  The four dimensions of Camara’s writings into which the excerpts here are organized are “A Church of Service and Poverty, “From Paternalism to Liberation,” “Walking with God” and “The Unity of Creation.”  Even those readers who are familiar with the social justice dimensions of Camara’s prose works, might be not be familiar with Camara’s poetic works, many of which embrace themes of unity and peace with creation.  McDonagh provides an excellent introduction to these poetic works in the fourth and final chapter of the book.  Consider this excerpt, for instance, from the poem “Brother Birds”:

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