Ready for a humble, hard-working Christian religion that is progressive, pro-justice, and pro-peace? Ready for faith that takes the Bible seriously because it doesn’t take it literally? Ready for a soulful expression of this kind of Christianity in meditative prose, poetry, ritual, and song? Ready to empty the barn of dusty dogma, and take wing with soulful celebration?
Jim Burklo, author of Open Christianity (St Johann Press, 2000), still used as a text by study groups around the world as an introduction to progressive faith, has produced a jewel of a new book. It is a rich devotional resource for individuals, and a treasure-trove of fresh material for churches to use in worship and programming.
His personal reflections lead the reader on a spiritual path from the contemplative to the comic, from tender moments to prophetic exhortations, from analysis to inspiration. His new lyrics to old hymns offer poetic antidotes to outdated theology. His prayers move readers, both Christian and non-Christian, beyond supernaturalism and into the heart of mystical experience. His liturgies bust out of the barn of stodgy worship. They buzz with the word that the listeners heard when Jesus pointed at the birds in his Sermon on the Mount. It’s word jazz, it’s bird jazz; it’s Birdlike and Barnless: Meditations, Prayers, and Songs for Progressive Christians (St Johann Press: 2008)