The Bad Place by J. Webb Mealy (Review)

In The Bad Place, J. Webb Mealy argues that hell is not a place of unending conscious torment, as has been popularly understood, but rather the unrepentant will ultimately be destroyed and no longer exist. To put some terminology on it, against the traditional view, which we could name “eternal conscious torment” or “infernalism”, Mealy…

On Magical Thinking and Faith

You’ve probably seen the story. Its been all over my social media this past week. Apparently tens of thousands of Catholics in Arizona learned their baptism is now considered invalid. The reason? The priest mistakenly said “We baptize” rather than “I baptize.” He made this mistake for decades. https://www.npr.org/2022/02/15/1080829813/priest-resigns-baptisms Mistake? It’s one word! The average…

Tradition and Apocalypse: An Essay on the Future of Christian Belief by David Bentley Hart (Review)

Who Should Read This Book - Readers interested in the past and future of Christian faith and practice. What’s the Big Takeaway - Tradition is not about looking into the past to find some imaginary line of faith and practice that has never changed, the beauty of tradition is opening new paths and avenues in…

Kenogaia (A Gnostic Tale) by David Bentley Hart (Review)

Who Should Read this Book - Readers who enjoy a good story, readers who enjoy books that make them think and especially readers who appreciate a combination of those two things. What is the Big Takeaway - The best theologians write good fiction. And a quote - “Orthodoxy is a humble half-truth exalted to the…

Top Ten 2021 Reads: #3-1 – A Bit of Theology

Time to wrap up this top ten list. #3 - The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr Barr argues that Biblical womanhood is Christian patriarchy. As a medieval historians, she brings in all sorts of insights a different writer would not. That said, she does get into the usual scriptures to support patriarchy.…

How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith (Review)

Who Should Read This Book - Everyone. I can’t think of anyone, at least Americans and people I interact with, who would not benefit from reading this book. What is the Big Takeaway - How we tell the story of our history matters, and we in America have largely done a poor job of telling…

2021 Top Ten Reads: #4 – It by Stephen King

I got into Stephen King late in life, which was mostly due to me not being a fan of horror. The only two King books I read as a teen were Eyes of the Dragon and Misery. The former is a fantasy story while the latter actually is horror, though the villain is a psycho…

2021 Top Ten Reads: $5 – Sergius Bulgakov

We go from fantasy novels to Russian orthodox theology. What can I say, I have a wide variety of tastes and interests. As I think on reading Bulgakov’s BIG trilogy this year - The Lamb of God, The Comforter, The Bride of the Lamb - I am reminded that I read too fast. I love…

2021 Top Ten Reads: #6 – Malazan Book of the Fallen

Okay, so I am cheating here. This is actually five books. But hey, its my list and I can do what I want. This year I began reading Malazan Book of the Fallen, a ten-book series by Steve Erikson. I was wanting to dig into a long fantasy series, and bonus points for one that…

My 2021 Top Ten Reads: #8 and #7 – Children’s Book and Justice Book

#8 - What is God Like by Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner I’ve read hundreds of picture books in my years of being a parent, but rarely does a children’s picture book make my top ten list. Yet this one is beautifully illustrated and presents a wonderful image of who God is and…