Haiti One Year Later: The Quake and Haitian Spirituality, by Gerald Murray in Q

Devastation Beyond Human Imagination

I was in Haiti just before the earthquake struck a year ago. Since then I’ve been back several times and read innumerable articles in the international press. There are religious dimensions in the tragedy that have escaped the attention of the media, which has focused on human suffering, the almost imperceptible recovery, and the international politics of the world’s response to the tragedy. Few stories focused on the spiritual response of the Haitian people to the enormous disaster.  But to understand the spiritual dimension of these events, one would need to know a little bit about the people…

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Next Post in the Series: A Long Term Strategy to Help Haiti Recover

Sheryl J. Anderson, TV Writer and Novelist: Authors Who Influenced Me

Sheryl J. Anderson: Prolific Television Writer and Novelist

Seeking to reimagine faith and culture inevitably makes you a reader: a multi-post on on the “Fab 15” Author lists of Two Handed Warriors.

Sheryl J. Anderson, television writer (CharmedFlash Gordon, Dave’s World) and novelist (Killer HeelsKiller CocktailKiller Riff) offers her unique take on the 15 authors who have most deeply influenced her life.

Read Sheryl’s list and let us know yours.


Sheryl J. Anderson’s “Fab 15”

Martin Luther

Ray Bradbury

Dorothy Parker

Harlan Ellison

William Goldman

Jorge Luis Borges

Arthur Miller

Tennessee Williams

Thorne Smith

Agatha Christie

Stephen King

Peter Straub

E.B. White

The first book in Sheryl's Molly Forrester Mysteries series

Lucy Boston

Robert Bolt

What’s are your “Fab 15”?

“Fab 15″ Rules: List fifteen authors, fiction or nonfiction, including poets, playwrights, and screenwriters, who have influenced you and will always stick with you.

Make your list in no more than fifteen minutes!

Sheryl J. Anderson Trivia: Did you know that Sheryl has also written  mini-dramas for church theatre and worship services?  Check out: The Twelve Plays of Christmas: Original Christian Dramas, A Message in a Minute: More Lighthearted Minidramas for Churches.

A Guy Walks into a Bar… and Plants a Church!

Chris Fletcher, 2010 Bethel Christian Ministries major, leading 'The Bar Church' in Two Harbors, MN (Julia Cheng)

One of my favorite students, Chris Fletcher, made national news this morning with an AP story about his unique church plant … IN A BAR!

Chris graduated from Bethel University’s Christian Ministries program in May and is now a student at Bethel Seminary.

The Associated Press article “A Man Walks into a Bar… to Preach” is getting nationwide coverage today by CBS, ABC , The Washington Post, etc.

Check it out on of one these news sites, Chris’ blog, A Cup of Grace, or The Bar Church on Facebook.

Talk about a Two Handed Warrior!

Way to go, Chris!


Two Handed Warrior Books of the Decade, by Gary & Sue Stratton

Inspired by Margaret Feinberg’s list of 10 beautiful books of the decade in yesterday’s post, Sue and I put our heads together over dinner at Outback and came up with our own twenty (popular) books on the two themes of Two Handed Warriors—Culture Making and Faith Building. (Hey, there’s two of us, so we get ten each, right?) Of course, a few were written before the 2000’s, but we didn’t get around to reading them until this decade. Read our lists and let us know what we missed. It drove us crazy leaving out so many great books.


Culture Making and the Arts

  1. Walking On Water (1980) Madeline L’Engle
  2. The Love of Learning and the Desire for God (1988) Jean Leclerq
  3. The Courage to Teach (1997) Parker Palmer
  4. The Dying of the Light (1998) James T. Burtchaell
  5. Divided by Faith (2001) Michael O. Emerson & Christian Smith
  6. Imagine (2001) Steve Turner
  7. The Rise of Evangelicalism (2003) Mark Noll
  8. Culture Making (2008) Andy Crouch
  9. Outliers (2008) Malcolm Gladwell
  10. To Change the World (2010) James Davidson Hunter


Faith Building and Spiritual Formation

  1. The Renovation of the Heart (2002) Dallas Willard
  2. Blue Like Jazz (2003) Donald Miller
  3. Repenting of Religion (2004) Greg Boyd
  4. The Jesus Creed (2005) Scot McKnight
  5. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (2006) Pete Scazzero
  6. unChristian (2007) David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
  7. Kingdom Triangle (2007) J.P. Moreland
  8. A Credible Witness (2008) Brenda Salter McNeil
  9. Not the Religious Type (2008) David Schmelzer
  10. Surprised by Hope (2008) NT Wright

What’s on your list?

Gary & Sue

Ten Most Beautiful Books I Read During the Last Decade, by Margaret Feinberg

Margaret Feinberg, named one of the “30 Emerging Voices” of the next decade by Charisma magazine.

Margaret Feinberg, prolific author and conference speaker–whose books include Scouting the Divine and critically-acclaimed The Organic Godoffers her top ten books of the past decade in Q. (For complete article click here.)


One | Godstories by H. Stephen Shoemaker

Two | Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry

Three | Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey

Four | The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

Five | A Walk through the Bible by Lesslie Newbigin

Six | Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Seven | After You Believe by N. T. Wright

Eight | Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth by Walter Brueggemann

Nine | Jesus Driven Ministry by Ajith Fernando

Ten | The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

What is on YOUR top ten books of the past decade? Send me your list with links and I’ll publish it.

Ten Most Significant Cultural Trends of the Last Decade: Q Article by Andy Crouch

Andy Crouch, a senior editor at Christianity Today and author of "Culture Making: Rediscovering Our Creative Calling"

One of my favorite social commentators, Andy Crouch, offers a wonderful piece in Q listing the Ten Most Significant Cultural Trends of the Last Decade: Ten trends in North American culture “that accelerated dramatically in the 2000s—almost always for better and for worse at the same time.”

One | Connection
Two | Place
Three | Cities
Four | The End of the Majority
Five | Polarity
Six | The Self Shot
Seven | Pornography
Eight | Informality
Nine | Liquidity
Ten | Complexity…”

I highly recommend reading the entire article and joining the conversation.

What do you think Andy missed, understated, or overstated?

Top Posts of the Year: Paparazzi in the Hands of an Angry God

Paparazzi originally premiered in the celebrity issue of Mars Hill Graduate School's The Other Journal

It’s hard to believe that Two Handed Warriors has only been up and running for two months.  I cannot thank you enough for all the encouragement and support.

I started the blog in hope of fostering an ongoing conversation for professionals committed to both culture making and faith building. You have exceeded my wildest dreams.  Conversations have evoked marvelous responses from audiences as diverse as Ivy League professors, Hollywood executive producers, seminary deans, college students, pastors, student development professionals, campus ministers, film and television writers. Thank you!

According to Word Press Paparazzi in the hands of an Angry God: Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and the Birth of American Celebrity Culture was the second most viewed post of the last two months.  However, it might really deserve to be #1 given the three follow-up posts it prompted: Hollywood Responds to Paparazzi, Higher Education Responses to Paparazzi, and guest post by TV writer Chris Easterly, Icons of Heroic Celebrity.

Bottom line: Paparazzi really seemed to hit a nerve. It turns out that there is a great deal of angst out there regarding how to maximize the potentialities of the electronic age without being drawn into the “dark side” of self-promotion. So this January I’ll be posting on ongoing series on Servant Leadership in an Age of Celebrity in hopes of teasing out the issues involved.  (Watch for the first post, “Lost” Lessons of Leadership: Sawyer, Jack and the Power of Gun, next week.)

I would love your feedback and questions in order to shape the conversation and explore if it is worthy of a future book project. (I SO appreciate all the emails directly to me, but if you could find it in your heart to post comments on the site it would help foster a broader conversation.)

Thank you again for letting me into your head over the past 60 days.  Lord willing, it is the beginning of a genuine community of two handed warriors in Hollywood, the Ivy League and beyond.

Happy New Year!


PS Special thanks to Identity Specialist, Lem Usita, as well as to Jon Stanley and the staff of THE OTHER JOURNAL for all their help in conceiving and lauching this project. Thank you to Chris Easterly, Kathy Bruner, Shun Lee Fong, David McFadzean, David Ridder, Dennis Ingolfsand, Peter Kapsner, Rich Gathro, Jack Gilbert, Clyde Taber, Brennan Smith, Jim Hull, John David Ware, Robb Kelley, Todd Burns, Bob Cornero, Tom Provost, Carol Shell Harris, and Michael Warren for helping get the conversation started. Thank you also to Scot McKnight, Key Payton, Keri Lowe, David Medders, McCoy Tyner, Ralph Enlow, and Ken Minkema, for their personal encouragement, professional input, and help in getting the word out. I never could have made it without you all!