Celtic Christianity and the Legend of the Wild Goose

Celtic Christianity and the Legend of the Wild Goose

A cool bonus about attending St. Stephen’s University is that they have a professor who loves Celtic Christianity. Sadly enough he was on a trip during the two weeks I attended class so I was unable to meet him. However I did take advance of the school’s library which had excellent collection of Celtic Christianity books thanks to this gentlemen’s influence. =D Buried within this collection was a copy of Ian Bradley’s “Celtic Christianity: Making Myths and Chasing Dreams.” This was a book that I have been wanting to read since 2006 – yeah, nine years is a long time to wait…but wow, the book was worth it! Ian Bradley is a British academic, author, and theologian who teaches at University of St Andrews in Scotland. With over 30 books in print, Bradley is one of the most well-known experts on Celtic Christianity and spirituality. His book “Celtic Christianity: Making Myths and Chasing Dreams” reflects the depth of his knowledge in this area as he traces the development of Celtic Christianity from the early days of the Celtic church to today. History, while only lived once, is never really static with folks of the current time reading their own wishes and desires back into the actions and thoughts of their forefathers. The various quests for the historical Jesus is a prime example of this human tendency. Bradley, being a professor of church history, not only looks at what actually happened on the British Isle, but also at how folks interpreted the historical events. In other words just like there has been three quests for the historical Jesus within modern...
Top 14 Books For Every Pastor or Church Leader

Top 14 Books For Every Pastor or Church Leader

My friends over at Think Theology have started listing out their top books every pastor should either own or have read. After reading over Able Baker, Robby McAlpine, and Kenny Burchard lists, I just had to respond as I think they missed the mark on some must have books!! 😀 1)    “Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom” by Derek Morphew The Scriptures tell us that central message of Jesus and the 12 was the Kingdom of God. Sadly the original meaning behind these words have been shifted and changed as the years march by. Building upon the works of George Ladd, Albert Schweitzer, John Wimber and others, Derek Morphew lays out the historical and biblical foundation for the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God in human history. If you are at all interested in Enacted Inaugurated Eschatology of Kingdom Theology, you simply MUST read this book. 2)    “The Pastor: A Memoir” by Eugene Peterson I first read this book a few months after I became a senior pastor, and I have to say that it did more to shape my view of pastoring than any other book I have ever read. Drawing from 30 years of experience as the pastor of a small 300 member church in Maryland, Peterson shares the tough times and the good times, the happy times and the not-so-happy times. And in doing so he lays out an amazing pastoral model built on empowering the people to be the people of God. 3)    “God’s EPIC Adventure” by Winn Griffin A lot of Christians know the different Bible stories, but very few actually know how they are connected....
A Pull To The Mystical Side Of Christianity

A Pull To The Mystical Side Of Christianity

A few days ago I admitted my desire to listen to the song of the Sirens of Doing…the song that takes one heart and pulls it into the active world of busyness. At some level, everyone struggles with listening to their song as it courses through our culture like the Mighty Mississippi runs through our nation. Some are able to sit on its shores and causally fish for a while before walking away into the stillness of the woods. Others, like me, long to float the river of busyness thinking that they can tame the rapids and wilds of the coursing waves. It is a strong desire that is on one hand a blessing while being a curse in the other hand. The one thing that keeps me sane and anchored to the shore of calmness is an equally strong pull to the mystical side of Christianity. For those unfamiliar with that term or its association with Christianity, let me assure you that it is a good thing and not a snare of the evil one. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “mystical” in the following manner: having a spiritual meaning or reality that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence of or relating to mystics or mysticism : resulting from prayer or deep thought Throughout the history of Christianity (and Judaism before that) there have been followers of Jesus who have basked in the mystery of God without trying to define or explain everything they saw, felt or hear. Some of these Mystics followed Antony the Great into the starry skies of the desert away from...
Listening to the Song of the Doing Sirens

Listening to the Song of the Doing Sirens

I’m supposed to be on Sabbatical…a time of reflection and re-evaluation after years of plowing the land of the King. Yet despite the desire to dial down and be, I found myself following the song the Doing Sirens…. Sirens, for those who don’t know, were beautiful creatures in Greek mythology who lured sailors to their death through their enchanting music. Their charm was so powerful that few who heard their voices lived to tell of the experience. Those who did live were forever changed as the song of the Sirens crept into their souls and tweaked their hearts. The song of the Doing Sirens is just as powerful as those sirens of old – calling humanity ever forward, ever faster, ever doing while the wheels of life spins and spins and spins, slipping past the teeth of time on the way nowhere. Few who have heard their song completely break free – and none leave without scars. For years I have plowed the fields of the Lord side by side with the fields of Pharaoh, tightening my muscles with each stone removed or jarring bump. Storms of emotions raged around me coupled with spiritual attacks and bouts of depression, yet despite it all I held on to the plow – a fated Odysseus bracing against the sound of the Sirens, desperately wanting to hear their song all the while knowing the fate of those who listen. “Come closer, famous Odysseus – Achaea’s pride and glory – moor you ship on our coast so you can hear our song! Never has any sailor passed our shores in his black craft...
Embracing The New Year

Embracing The New Year

A new year is upon us, beckoning us to embrace life with all its changes and mysteries.  This day, as an old Scottish New Year prayer says, is a “new day that has never been before.” And as a new day, let us embrace the newness of it and set our eyes ahead towards the rising sun. The Lord Jesus is in our midst, walking with us and beckoning forward on His mission. The old year along with the old junk of our lives – our failures, mistakes, pains, sorrows, bitterness, and tears – have been laid at the foot of the cross and we are now new beings, washed pure by His light (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let us, therefore, stand tall as sons and daughter of the Most High (Romans 8:14-17) and march forward together as one body under the leadership of Jesus, the King of Kings and Prince of Peace. Christ has many services to be done; Some are easy, others are difficult; Some bring honor, others bring reproach; Some are suitable to our natural Inclinations and temporal interest, Others are contrary to both. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves, In others we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves. Yet the power to do all these things is assuredly given us in Christ, who strengthens us.   Therefore let us make the Covenant of God our own. Let us engage our heart to the Lord, And resolve in His strength never to go back!  (Section of an old Celtic New Year covenant...