Shadows & Dust, Vol. II, Issue 1

Happy Thanksgiving, one day late! In case you have a chance for some reading this weekend, here are a few titles and links you might check out:


  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson Have loved reading through this book with my youngest who has a lot in common with the author, a now-renowned chef who was born in Ethiopia and raised by adopted parents.
  • Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity by David M. Felten & Jeff Procter-Murphy Some thought-provoking ideas from a different stream of Christianity than I grew up in. I like this Walter Brueggemann quote from the book, “The Bible is an act of faithful imagination. It is not a package of certitudes. It is an act of imagination that invites our faithful imagination that makes it possible to live faithfully.” And this from William Blake: “Both read the Bible day and night but thou readest black where I read white.” And this: “The ancient Hebrews who composed what we now know as Genesis were brilliant storytellers — and although their writings have for generations been thought to explain the ‘how’ of what happened historically, their stories are much deeper and richer when they are properly understood metaphorically as wrestling with the ‘whys’ of human life.” 
  • The Celtic Vision: Prayers, Blessings, Songs and Invocations from the Gaelic Tradition edited by Esther de Waal — The way of life of Celtic Christians, as presented here by de Waal, gives powerful testimony to how God-infused life can truly be, from mundane everyday tasks to life milestones and rites of passage. 
Talks & Conferences
  • “Made in the Image of God,” a sermon and Q&A with J. Philip NewellLast month, I heard Newell preach on Genesis 1 at a downtown Denver church. Newell lived for four years at the abbey on the island of Iona, a center of Celtic spirituality, and remains a minister in the Church of Scotland. He had quite a presence about him, and I appreciated his words on the importance of creational stewardship and practicing being fully present with those around us.
  • Simply Jesus Gathering — Angela and I attended a recent conference in Aurora (or I guess, technically, Centennial), Colo., during which my friend and pastor Kathy Escobar preached alongside bestselling author/speakers N.T. Wright and Philip Yancey. It’s hard for me to be at those sorts of gatherings, but I did appreciate several things about it. I appreciated the approach to “evangelism” described by Carl Medieras — he tells Jesus stories and “looks” for Jesus in the places he visits. I appreciated that the guiding question for the conference tried to be: What do you think about Jesus? I appreciated the contribution of speaker Mark Braverman, a man who calls himself a Palestinian Jew. He offered a poignant word on oppression and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. DVDs of the conference are still available via the above link.
Avatar photo

Written by