sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

Bookshelf: Currently Reading


Soil and Sacrament: A spiritual memoir of food and faith (2013). Fred Bahnson. New York: Simon & Schuster.

I started reading this book today and I am so, so glad it’s come into my life. In a well-timed fluke, last night I watched the documentary Symphony of the Soil – and I highly recommend it. It’s an absolute must-watch for people interested in the connections between ecology and agriculture.

This book, Soil and Sacrament, follows the personal spiritual journey of a Methodist pastor who travels to different faith and ethnic communities (Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal and Jewish) where growing food and tending the Earth are central to spirituality.

The book is just beautiful, so far. Christendom desperately needs to take seriously the concerns of the environmentalist movements if we are ever to fulfil the mandates to tend God’s garden and to feed the hungry. It’s a relief and inspiration to read this book. And there’s lots of practical gardening advice woven through the text.

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Survey for Victims of Spiritual Abuse

Some of my readers might be able to contribute to this.

Liberty for Captives

Rarely do I post anything which asks something of my readers. This is an exception, and you’ll see why.

The letter below is from Dr. Barb Orlowski, an expert on spiritual abuse whose book is on my Resources page. Barb is a trustworthy and professional colleague. She is doing some research and needs input from folks who have experienced spiritual abuse. Her survey is 26 questions long. You can visit her site and find the survey: it’s the bottom link on the right-hand side. It leads to a Word document that you download and then email back to Barb.

I wouldn’t post this if I didn’t think that the results of Barb’s survey will help a lot of victims of spiritual abuse. Here’s her letter:

Request for Survey Participants 2013


You are invited to participate in a new survey regarding those who have experienced spiritual abuse in your home…

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On the Bookshelf: Creation Waits


Agnes Sanford (1977). Creation Waits. Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos International.

This unique little book is quite remarkable. I think it sits in that rare category of Christian books that would probably be meaningful to people in other nature-centred belief systems, too.

Sanford’s basic argument is this: God’s creation (nature, the world, its systems and functions such as the weather and climate, animals and gardens) are able to be encompassed in prayer. As an environmentally conscious Christian, I appreciate her ability to draw in scriptural arguments and testimonies regarding our duty of care to our planet and its inhabitants.

It’s interesting to note that the book was written in the 1970s. There are Christians who, for a long time, have historically regarded creation as something worth protecting and healing. Some early vegetarian movements in Europe were, for example, based on a Christian theological position that death is a curse, and that vegetarianism pointed the way to a renewed Earth in which the “lion will lie down with the lamb.” We Christians are not all out to plunder the finite resources of the world that sustains us. It is sad, in my opinion, that we so easily twist the teachings of the Gospel to imply a level of self-deserving consumption of resources, thinking that it is our God-given right to take what we want without regard to the consequences of our actions on other people groups and the environment. We take more than we should, and call ourselves blessed.

By seeing the Earth as belonging to God, we seek to uphold it in prayer and in practical acts of conservation and kindness to animals and plants. Sanford details a fascinating, prayerful approach to encompassing the planet in spiritual light, seeing those who have faith as channels for that light.

This book is definitely worth tracking down and reading, studying, and considering that our prayers must be extended to the world beyond our own immediate individual needs.

I bought my copy from Amazon.Com. As it is an old book, most copies I found available were second hand.

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