Review: Imaginative Prayer

I’ve long held a personal axiom — never judge a book by its cover; judge it by its table of contents. Let this be true especially for Jared Boyd’s Imaginative Prayer: A Yearlong Guide for Your Child’s Spiritual Formation, with a caveat: the table of contents is more than a table of contents. It’s a poem — literally — a “credal poem” that your child is invited not only to memorize with you but to experience through playful and grace-filled encounters with Gød. This, for me, is so much of the genius of the work, beyond being in all respects an extraordinarily practical and in many ways revolutionary resource for parents. Continue reading

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Would You Throw It Away? Our Worth in a Disposable Culture

There’s an ancient story where a Roman solider visits a desert monk named Abba Mius (‘abba’ here means ‘father’), and the solider asks the old man whether it’s really true that Gød would accept someone who’s far gone down a bad path if only they turn and reorient their life to Gød. Abba Mius replies, ‘Tell me, my dear, if your cloak is torn, do you throw it away?‘ ‘No,’ the soldier answers, ‘I mend it and use it again.’ ‘If you are so careful about your cloak,’ the abba replies, ‘will not God be equally careful about God’s creature?’ Continue reading

What We Talk About When We Talk About Gød’s Love

I had a conversation recently with an atheist-Jewish friend, the sort of which I value tremendously, in part because out of our discussion about some of the distances between Judaism, atheism and Christianity, it brings fantastic questions to me like this: Love is pretty important to Christianity, isn’t it? I would want to ask in reply, Isn’t to everyone?! I think of one Catholic philosopher who turns Descartes on his head by saying of cogito ergo sum-certainty, ‘So what? . . . Does anybody love me?’ But I get this. I get that love is a vague, diluted and overstretched enough concept that it doesn’t necessarily have punch or purchase. Put it in this sentence, ‘Gød loves you,’ and I have instant respect for anyone who fires back in earnest, Yeah, but what does that mean? Continue reading