The following is a “sample” of our Monday-morning “ReadTheSpirit
Planner” — a free e-mail service that starts your week with a lively
slice of news about spirituality and media …
IF YOU’D LIKE TO RECEIVE our Planner each Monday morning (it’s free and you can un-subscribe anytime) — then, send a quick Email to ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm — and we’ll get our next edition to you on the next Monday morning!
ReadTheSpirit Planner for March 31:
continuing to draw millions into his global discussion, but top
Southern Baptists leaders just recently signed a letter calling
evangelicals to a deeper religious commitment in combatting global
warming. This week, there’s a brand-new voice added to this forum in an eloquent new book by Yale’s dean of environmental studies — a great choice for small-group study.
Somewhere you’ll hear a mention of this film, produced by a notorious
Dutch politician. Here’s what we can add to help you this week: The
film was condemned by the World Council of Churches and was called a “a
clear case of Islamophobia” by Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, WCC head
of interfaith relations, adding: “Through graphic images the filmmaker
depicts violent extremism without any attempt to distinguish it from
mainstream Islam. Extremism is a problem for most religions and needs
to be countered through interreligious dialogue.” The WCC posted a more elaborate statement online.
It doesn’t get darker than this: Tuesday’s crop of new DVDs, which wind
up playing in countless American homes, includes “Sweeney Todd” — a
terrific musical, but a movie that ends up quite literally wallowing in
a cellar filled with blood and mutilated bodies. Among TV reruns
hitting shelves is another season of “Law and Order: Special Victims
Unit.” I’m not panning either choice, just pointing out they’re dark.
Among the more wholesome family fare is “Father Knows Best” finally
hitting DVD (although accompanied by all the old attitudes of that
era). The brightest ray of sun may be an All-Osmonds concert film! Are you smiling?
Visits by the pope and the Dalai Lama are still weeks away, but the
buzz about them is rising already. What’s really taking off in the
grassroots is renewed interest in C.S. Lewis and the latest Narnia
film, “Prince Caspian,” due out May 16. A great choice for a
small-group discussion on Lewis is a collection of his letters on
spiritual disciplines — newly released this week — called, “Yours, Jack.”
If there ever was an era in which spiritual leaders could make a
difference — this is it! With the earthquake at Bear Stearns and the
Fed making up rules as it goes along, everyone’s in a panic. Fueling
the frenzy are shocking covers on The Economist, Foreign Policy — and
the normally cheery New Yorker just hit newsstands with a cover image
of a ship sinking and an executive tumbling downhill. A bright new
voice in the conversation comes from Yale’s dean of environmental
studies. His newly released book, “A Bridge at the End of the World,” is a terrific choice for small groups.
check out the Battlestar Galactica and Narnia groups. If you’re not on
Facebook — then you’re not a part of the largest community of young
adults in America. And, in growing numbers, a lot of us older adults
are showing up as well. Feel free to look for me, David Crumm, on
Facebook and — sure, I’ll be your friend.
by this — and half fascinated! The current No. 13 issue of “Make:
Technology on Your Time” includes a step-by-step, Popular
Mechanics-style guide to building yourself — get this! — a flaming
Bible! Dan Weiss, the son of a stage magician, provides plans for
building a big Bible that you can open up so dramatically that flames
shoot up from the open pages. I am not kidding about this — although
obviously this shouldn’t be explored with children. All I can say is: I
read every word. This truly is — a “hot” read.
continues that theme. And, Wednesday’s Conversation features a couple
of ordinary people who are changing the world with a spiritual
documentary film that’s circling the globe. (And, no, this is not a
story about “The Secret.”)
the week as we provide timely resources and spiritual inspiration
related to all of the issues we’ve raised in the Planner.
- Ready to Blast Off Soon into … Battlestar Galactica’s Spiritual Cosmos?
- Mourning the Purge of Comics … and Celebrating Their Spiritual Rebirth
- Conversation With the Architect of a New Bible — Redesigned to Finally Free the Flow of the Ancient Story
- I’m Sorry, But … It’s Time for a Crash Quiz on the Spiritual Art of “The Apology”
- An Inspirational Call for All of Us … from our Muslim friends
- Judging (More) Books by Their Covers: We Find A Spoonful of Creativity …