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This category contains 639 posts


‘Let no one who is not eager for truth and peace enter here’ (Plato)

Articles on this site express varying points of view, to encourage mature thinking on serious issues. The assumption is that you will want to study a controversial topic from various angles before you arrive at a conclusion, rather than simply believe what someone told you when you were impressionable! (So some stuff here is ‘hot’. Proceed at your own risk!). See the Statement of Faith for John Mark Ministries' theological stance.

Why Libraries are so Important…

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens ‘We have an obligation to imagine’ … Neil Gaiman gives The Reading Agency annual lecture on the future of reading and libraries. Photograph: Robin […]

Alcohol (fuelling the journey to meet God earlier)

Why do writers drink? Does it help writers to drink? Certainly Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas, John Cheever, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald thought so. But, wonders Blake Morrison, are the words on the page there despite and not because of alcohol?   Blake Morrison The Guardian, Saturday 20 July 2013 ‘“Write drunk; edit sober” is Hemingway’s much-quoted […]

Christ Among the Dragons

Christ Among the Dragons, James Emery White (2010). When medieval mapmakers came to the end of the world as they knew it, they would write on the edges of their maps, ‘Here Be Dragons’. Without a way to navigate, these areas were, at best, promising yet unexplored, and at worst, perilous. What is the new […]


Fiona Gardner (ed.): Precious Thoughts: Daily Readings from the correspondence of Thomas Merton (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2011), Milton Jones: 10 Second Sermons… and even quicker illustrations (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2011), Steven Cottrell: How to Pray: Alone, with others, at any time, in any place (Church House, 3rd edition, 2010).  The Trappist monk Thomas […]

Martin Luther King Jr: History Maker

Martin Luther King Jr: History Maker, by Richard S. Reddie (Lion Books), 2011  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Nobel Peace Prizewinner (the youngest ever at that stage), is one of the world’s three most-mentioned twentieth-century exponents of non-violent activism against injustice (with Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi).  In this book we have a readable, and, […]

Movie Review – The Iron Lady

by Nils von Kalm http://soulthoughts.com   There is a sense of irony in the fact that this movie, told from the point of view of an ageing, frail, and dementia-suffering former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, is called The Iron Lady. Her frailty proves again that life catches up with everyone in the end. […]


25 BOOKS EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD READ (Renovare, 2011) ‘Pray constantly’ (1 Thess. 5:17). The devout Russian peasant-author of The Way of a Pilgrim added: ‘These words made a deep impression on me, and I started thinking of how it could be possible to pray without ceasing when the practical necessities of life demand so much attention’. But a […]


ULYSSESby James Joyce THE GREAT GATSBYby F. Scott Fitzgerald A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MANby James Joyce LOLITAby Vladimir Nabokov BRAVE NEW WORLDby Aldous Huxley THE SOUND AND THE FURYby William Faulkner CATCH-22by Joseph Heller DARKNESS AT NOONby Arthur Koestler SONS AND LOVERSby D.H. Lawrence THE GRAPES OF WRATHby John Steinbeck UNDER […]

Adele Gonzales, Life is Hard but God is Good (Orbis, 2011)

Here’s a brilliant, ‘progressive Catholic’ attempt to ‘present the best theodicy possible.’ Adele Gonzales knows about suffering – via losing her beloved father unexpectedly when she was 14; soon afterwards she was shipped to Florida from Cuba without any English language skills; and she’s suffered emotionally, spiritually, physically (rheumatoid arthritis) – and ecclesiastically in a […]

A dark night of the soul

Author: Charles Fivaz The long, lonely hill-climb led Adam away from the land of Aaron’s Dream. More a nightmare than a dream, he thought, as he recalled the long and bitter struggle through one of the bleakest times of his life. The sky matched his mood as a pall of dark grey cloud pressed down […]