The Purpose of Passion

January 19, 2011

love is in the air.

Saint Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. card, flower, chocolate, and jewlery sales will rise for a few days in mid-February.

love has been pondered for thousands of years. recording artists sing songs about it. filmmakers make films about it. Danielle Steele and William Shakespeare have written about it.

every child, woman, and man have expressed love for someone or something somwhere.

The Purpose of Passion: Dante’s Epic Vision of Romantic Love is a book from authors Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware.  

the book is a journey through and study of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Ware and Bruner take readers on a guided tour through The Divine Comedy and point out what the story has to say about love, passion, romance, and spirituality.

we all long for love and companionship. we were made for relationships and community.

The Purpose of Passion includes references to wonderful verses of Scripture as well. the Bible, afterall, is a love letter to humanity. the Bible also contains beautiful poetry and passages expressing love for God, from God, for others, and from others.

The Purpose of Passion is a wonderful read. it could be enjoyed alone or read with a loved one.

let me finish this post with Bruner’s and Ware’s closing words from their introduction, which is their goal for the book: “May Dante’s Romantic Vision ignite within you, as it has in us, a greater fire of godly passion – no matter where you find yourself on love’s journey.” (Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware, The Purpose of Passion, xxi).

*NOTE: Tyndale Publishing gave me a free copy of The Purpose of Passion for a review posting on my blog. For more information check out the Tyndale Blog Network.



January 19, 2011

“Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8, NRSV.

“…hallow my sabbaths that they may be a sign between me and you, so that you may know that I the LORD am your God.” Ezekiel 20:20, NRSV.

“…the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:8, NRSV.

“…it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.'” Matthew 12:12, NRSV.

“…[Jesus] said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.'” Mark 2:27-28, NRSV.

author Dan B. Allender is the writer of Sabbath, a volume in the Ancient Practices Series from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Allender is the founder Mars Hill Graduate School, a therapist in private practice, a frequent speaker and seminar leader, and the author of other books.

Sabbath is wonderful.

very early in the book, in the introduction to be exact, Allender lays out a kind of thesis and framework for the book: “The way to make use of this book from the beginning is to ask the simplest question: what would I do for a twenty-four hour period of time if the only criteria was to pursue my deepest joy.” (Dan B. Allender, Sabbath, 15).

after introductory comments and material Allender’s book is split into three parts: “Sabbath Pillars,” “Sabbath Purpose,” and “Sabbath Performance.”

Sabbath is a well-written joy to read. reading this book in itself is a wonderful piece of sabbath for any day of the week and any time of the day.

*Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through “Book Sneeze.” They give free books to bloggers for honest reviews.*

the social network

January 14, 2011

Finding Our Way Again

January 14, 2011

have we North American Christians lost our way? have we made Christianity about conservative politics, not watching R-rated films, and not listening to rock and roll music?

to a certain extent i think we have. we need to get back on track. we need to find our way again.

enter Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, written by Brian McLaren. the text is the introductory book to The Ancient Practices Series from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

author Phyllis Tickle serves as the General Editor of the series and writes a forward for each volume. (i’ve previously blogged about The Sacred Meal and The Liturgical Year, volumes six and seven in the series).

the book is wonderful. McLaren sets the table for the volumes to come in the series and introduces readers to a world of the ancient practices making sense today.

book stores and book shelves are filled with self-help books, books that claim to be spiritual, and manuals for living. Finding Our Way Again is a book that looks at rich and deep practices for a rich and deep spiritual life.

the spiritual life is a journey. at times we need to find our way again.

Brian McLaren’s contribution to The Ancient Practices Series and the other books i’ve read from the series are a help along the way.

*Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through “Book Sneeze.” They give free books to bloggers for honest reviews.*

End of Season Report

January 7, 2011

this time of year is both sad and happy for NFL fans.

sad because the regular season is over.

happy because the playoffs are here and the Super Bowl is merely weeks away.

it was an interesting regular season this year. a lot of ups and downs. a lot of good football and some bad football. a great time was had by all, except maybe the Panthers. and Brad Chilldress. and Josh McDaniels. and Wade Phillips. oh yeah, and Mike Singletary. four coaches fired in season. that seems like a lot.

i went 168-88 with my weekly picks. not bad.

half of my pre-season Super Bowl picks blew up though. i originally picked the Vikings and the Steelers.

my mid-season pick from the NFC was the Saints. it could still happen, Saints vs. Steelers. both teams are in the playoffs and looking good lately. however, nobody wants to play the Packers or the Patriots. these two teams could very well be the Super Bowl players this year.

are you ready for some playoff football?

The Liturgical Year

January 4, 2011

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister is a volume in The Ancient Practices Series by Thomas Nelson Publishers. it’s a wonderfully written book.

it’s a theological text. Chittister explores the theological meaning and implications of the Christian calender and year.

it’s a historical study of the Liturgy and Liturgical year.

it’s an excellent book for devotions and spiritual reading.

The Liturgical Year is also very practical and insightful, as well as being personal. it contains many biographical elements of Chittister’s story and spiritual journey.

The Liturgical Year is written from a Roman Catholic point of view and uses the Roman Catholic liturgical template and langauge. Joan Chittister is a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania. she is an internationally known speaker and award-winning author of more than thirty books.

“Liturgical spirituality,” writes Chittister, “is about learning to live an ordinary life extraordinarily well. Fidelity to the liturgical life is the cement that keeps us grounded in Jesus, no matter what other elements of life emerge to seduce us as the years go by.” (The Liturgical Year, Joan Chittister, 179-180).

all of us, Christians of all denominations, should read this book and take this tour of the liturgical uear from Sister Joan Chittister.

*Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through “Book Sneeze.” They give free books to bloggers for honest reviews.*