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James Gordon

Public libraries cost money. In fact, public libraries are expensive. No surprise then that when it comes to cutting the cost of public services, our public libraries and their budgets are also up for grabs. I posted an article on Facebook recently lamenting the loss of 900 public libraries in England and Wales in the […] Read More

If the criteria set forth in Philippians 4:8 were applied to our way of thinking as well as our way of viewing the world and seeing and responding to other people, what would change in our public discourse? For that matter, what would change in our political exchanges, our preferred vocabulary in discussion and argument, […] Read More

How do we respond to the company of strangers? Do we find ourselves enriched or threatened? In his book, “Practical Theology,” Terry A. Velling writes, “Our English word xenophobia means ‘fear of the stranger.’ If we turn the word around, we get the New Testament word for hospitality, philoxenia, ‘love of the stranger.’ Pure hospitality, […] Read More

Wendell Berry, novelist and poet, is among the fellowship of gentle prophets who look on the life of the world with reverence for its mystery and the miracle of its ordinariness. I read him when I sense I’m looking at the world through eyes colored by cynicism. And he never fails to rebuke the moral […] Read More


The trial of David Irving is the subject of the docudrama “Denial.” While it was released in September 2016, I viewed it for the first time last month and found its subject particularly relevant in light of recent events. A BBC production, it should have had all the characteristics of a well-researched, cleverly scripted docudrama […] Read More

John Wesley could be a pain. He was dogmatic, opinionated, partisan and stubbornly hard to shift from what he believed was the central ground of Christian faith. But that made him neither an exclusive nor a separatist from other Christians. In 1749, he preached a sermon titled “The Catholic Spirit” based on 2 Kings 10:15. […] Read More

Among my many books, and settled on my many shelves, are a number of writers whose work is a balm in Gilead – a tonic for the creeping weariness of spirits jaded by a world too much in our faces. Isaiah wrote some of his greatest poetry to a people in exile, religiously dislocated, culturally […] Read More

A wire sculpture sits above the harbor at Portsoy in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The graceful lines of a dolphin leaping toward the sea is a powerful and poignant symbol of life that is wild, untamed, beautiful and utterly natural. There are many perspectives on the relationship between humans and the biosphere we call earth. My own […] Read More

Losing the art of listening has corrupted public discourse. “God’s voice is of the heart. / I do not therefore say / all voices of the heart are God’s, / and to discern his voice amidst the voices, / is that hard task to which we each are born.” I learned these words by heart […] Read More

Waiting for New Year’s Day can be an exercise in passive patience or an episode of agitated impatience or even a process of slow release anticipation. Alternatively, waiting can be a time of fallow resting, allowing new ideas to seed and propagate in the fertile mulch of memory, previous hopes and newborn choices. It’s strange […] Read More