How the Theologian Stole Christmas

Below is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Reflections of Immanuel, due out in Fall 2018 via Wipf & Stock Publishers.

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

~Dr. Seuss

It was Christmas morning. Jimmy was just coming around from the hard-night’s sleep he had encountered. He scanned the room with his half-open, sleepy-filled eyes and then glanced at the clock on the nightstand just next to his bed.

It was 7:08 in the morning. Continue reading

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Weekly Ponderings & Links: 12/10/17

Years ago, I would post a weekly round-up of links to varying articles and posts that had caught my attention for the week. It’s been a while, but I wanted to get back into the practice of such.

So here is my “Weekly Ponderings & Links” for Sunday, December 10, 2017. Continue reading

The Voice of the Heart

Chip Dodd is a trained counselor who founded The Center for Professional Excellence and Sage Hill: A Social Impact Organization (the latter essentially a counseling center). As his website bio states, Dodd helps professionals in all walks of life gain recovery from addiction, depression, anxiety and other behavioral disorders.

Out of this focus, Chip Dodd has given us his most known work, The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living. In it he explores what he (and others) identifies as the eight core feelings: hurt, lonely, sad, anger, fear, shame, guilt, and glad. As he states in the preface:

“These eight core feelings are the beginning of the expression of all human emotional experience. From these core feelings we can expand the expression to name conditions of the heart such as awe, grief, envy, anxiousness, depression, revenge, delight, and boredom.” (XI)

Continue reading

The Light Is Winning

the light is winningI recently received a copy of Zach Hoag’s newest book, The Light Is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life. Thanks to Zondervan / HarperCollins for sending a review copy!

Hoag’s new title launches right in with his own story, mainly how his family up and moved from Florida to join a cult in Texas. That’s one great quality to the book – the transparent display of vulnerability, giving us a glimpse into his own story. Not just in becoming part of a cult, but also one of a pained relationship with his father, an inner-battle with his own identity, and a failed church plant he started in Burlington, Vermont, the least religious city in the US.

Yet, in it all, Zach also uses that story to help us understand his main thesis: that the light is winning and that light is religion itself. Continue reading