December 16, 2017

IM Book Review: Sacred Pathways

One Size Fits None Review of Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas We’ve all held up ridiculously sized articles of clothing and scorned their boast that one size fits all, from Linda Hunt to Shaquille O‘Neal.  We know that clothes should be made in different sizes.  We accept that not all medicine is suitable for all […]

Filled with Passionate Intensity

Does anyone else cringe when they hear the over-used  word “passion”? What’s your passion? —  “I have a passion for — something.”  “I’m so passionate about that.” I don’t think these people know what they’re really saying. Bear with me here. I’m launching into a history of the word from its origins to its modern usage. […]

Old Books and New

We all had fun recently listing our favorite novels for Jeff Dunn.  The lists included many excellent, inspiring books, and some that were odd, amusing, or horrifying.  The majority of them were written since 1900.  It’s natural that when we read for pleasure we would read contemporary books, particularly novels, that use modern dialects and […]

The Myth Of Autonomy

There’s been some discussion here at iMonk recently about the value of personal autonomy. Many Americans believe that autonomy is achievable and that it’s the most honorable lifestyle there is.  They believe that people are autonomous individuals.  Even if I’m not as autonomous as I should be, because I lack courage or will, those people […]

The Terror Of Faith

(It may be that the things I say below will be useless or even damaging to some people at this point in their life of faith.  I hope those people will ignore what I’ve written if it’s unhelpful to them.  Caveat lector.) Growing in faith is an extremely dangerous proposition.  It’s been compared to leaping […]

Should Christians Covet Poverty?

Some American Christians sentimentalize poverty.  They long for it as a simpler, more holy lifestyle.  They read accounts of praise-filled believers in far countries who barely have enough to eat or a roof over their heads, and they wonder if maybe poverty is a helpful or even necessary condition for the Christian life.  Jesus did […]

The Good Land

Only recently did I discover that the monastic vows of Saint Benedict included the vow of stability:  poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability — staying in one place. There is a virtue to staying where you are.  There is a virtue to being where you are.  Too many of us are never where we are.  We […]

Humane Resources

No one likes whining.  I’ll try not to whine.  I realize that if you speak out against mistreatment on others’ behalf, it’s justice.  If you speak out on your own behalf, it’s whining.  But maybe I can see the bottom of the boot better from down here and describe it more accurately.  If that’s whining, […]

Religion and Culture

(Note: Richard Niebuhr wrote a classic book called Christ and Culture.  I highly recommend reading it to understand the variety of relationships possible between Christianity and culture.  I don’t attempt to summarize his ideas here, just my own thoughts from my travels and studies.) Recently Lisa Dye quoted Derek Prince as saying, “Never let your […]

Balance

Virtue and truth, if out of balance, cease to be virtue or truth. That’s a bit short for a post, so I’ll expand. Any virtue developed in isolation from other virtues becomes a vice. Truthfulness, untempered by kindness, becomes a critical spirit. Gentleness without courage is weak. Empathy without self-discipline is soppy. It is easy […]