WHY THE MYSTICS MATTER NOW by Frederick Bauerschmidt

why the mystics matter now

“Contemporary life presents us with certain challenges, some of which are unique to our era, others of which are as old as the human race…the resources of the Christian mystical tradition can help us, both Christians and non-Christians, in puzzling through those challenges.”




It’s that time of year again, make a resolution! Eat less cheesy snacks? Put on those running shoes? In a world of self-invention, the mystical tradition within Christianity reminds us that all of life is a gift, and deep spiritual change occurs when we let God do what God would like to do in our lives.

In each chapter of the book, Bauerschmidt takes a look at seven of Christianity’s mystics, so here goes:


FRESH AIR by Jack Levison: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life

fresh air jack levisonWhat is this book all about? Jack Levison offers a book on the Holy Spirit with a framework that aims to be biblical, radical, and practical.

Biblical = “When I promise you a book on the holy spirit that is biblical, I mean to include important and often unfamiliar passages throughout the Bible.”

Radical = “Some of what you read will be radical. All of it, I hope will enlarge and enrich what you believe.”

Practical = Each chapter suggest things to try. (more…)

OUT OF SOLITUDE by Henri J. M. Nouwen: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

out-of-solitude“Is God present or is he absent? Maybe we can say now that in the center of our sadness for his absence we can find the first signs of his presence. And that, in the middle of our longings, we discover the footprints of the one who has created them.”

This book is short but deep. It’s a book about the contemplative life and how to tune in to hearing God’s still small voice in a busy world. Not only this, but this little book suggests that the contemplative life leads ultimately to great capacity for action in the world. (more…)

SIMPLY GOOD NEWS by Tom Wright: why the gospel is good news & what makes it good

simply-good-news-cover“Most people today, in short, assume that the word  God refers to a dull, distant, and perhaps dangerous being. Most of those who think like that try hard, not surprisingly, to believe that this being doesn’t exist.”

Tom’s new book, “Simply Good News” is a great place to start in asking the question, “So what exactly is the good news?” The book begins by pointing out that for many Christians, answering this question is more difficult than we might think. (more…)