Sunday, December 28, 2014

Colleagues List, December 31st, 2014

Vol. X.  No. 21




Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:


Dear Colleagues and Friends:

My last issue of Colleagues List each year
is unlike any other. It is a compilation, with
links, to all the book notices and reviews, as
well as articles and other reflections from
the past 12 months.

This issue provides an easy way to catch up on
material you may have missed through 2014.


Design of this issue:

Reflection on Colleagues List, 2014
(My current thinking about this e-journal
  to recognize ten years of production)

Colleagues List 2014 -
Book Notice Summaries and Reviews;
Articles, Notes, Interviews and Reflections

Net Notes:
A Stunning Year in Pictures
from the New York Times

Closing Thought -  Jörg Zink


My next regular CL issue will be dated:
Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Have a good New Year Celebration!




Colleagues List  (CL) experienced considerable
growth in American and International readership
during the past year. For an e-journal that purports
to be "global and ecumenical in scope, Canadian in
perspective" - this is very good news.

American, Italian, French and British weekly
hits have jumped significantly during 2014,
often dwarfing Canadian pageviews. There is an
obvious, growing US and European readership.

Asian, African and Latin American readers are
also on the rise. I am not sure why this has
happened, but it is encouraging to see that
a religion and culture e-journal composed in
Canada is getting serious global attention.
I will continue to follow these trends carefully
and to shape my content accordingly.

Your suggestions are always welcome.

(Remember that I have always wanted to 
support new writers through my work.  I
continue to promote self-published authors
and those who are not endorsed by the
large publishing houses. You will see their
books scattered throughout the titles, below.)

Some interesting facts:

Total CL hits in the past 12 months - 52,000.
That's right. I'm not manipulating the data!
This means an average of 1,000 hits a week.

Record hits of 3,000 per week occurred for two 
September 2014 issues (it was a toss-up
between whose book got the most attention - 
Joan Chittister's or Richard Rohr's). Lois Wilson
books were also well received. Please see their
titles listed below.

Total CL hits in the past 6 years - 94,500
Total CL issues during these years - 240
Average annual number of issues - 40

These totals were recorded during the 
years I've used

Colleagues List has now existed in some
form since 2005  - or for ten years. This
is actually the tenth anniversary issue!

Total number of issues in ten years - 469

Some of you have received all 469 issues,
and I thank loyal as well as my more recent



Please note - in most cases, the first link
is to the CL issue where the notice or 
reflection appears. This is often followed
by back-up links to my book notice or article.
Scroll down into the body of the blog to read
what I had to say; i.e. "My Thoughts".

(Sub-total of 26)

"Goddesses -
  Mysteries of the Feminine Divine"
  by Joseph Campbell
  January 12th, 2014

"In Search of Deep Faith -
  A Pilgrimage into the Beauty,
  Goodness and Heart of Christianity"
  by Jim Belcher
  February 2nd, 2014


"Shakespeare -
  The  Invention of the Human"
  by Harold Bloom
  February 16th, 2014


"The Evolution of Christianity -
  Twelve Crises that Shaped the Church"
  by Marshall D. Johnson
  March 2nd, 2014


"In Bed With the Word - Reading, Spirituality
  and Cultural Politics" by  Daniel Coleman
  March 9th, 2014


"The Hero's Journey -
  Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work"
  March 23rd, 2014


"Bonhoeffer -
  Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy"
  by Eric Metaxas
  March 30th, 2014


"A Call to Action -
  Women, Religion, Violence and Power"
  by Jimmy Carter
  April 7th, 2014


"How Jesus Became God"
  by Bart D. Ehrman
  April 13th, 2014


"How God Became Jesus" 
  by Bird, Evans, Gathercole, Hill and Tilling.
  A Response to "How Jesus Became God"
  by Bart Ehrman
  April 29th, 2014


"Embracing an Alternative Orthodoxy -
  on the Legacy of St. Francis" 
  by Richard Rohr and Tim Scorer
  June 8th, 2014

"Fragments of Freedom"
  by John Badertscher
  June 29th, 2014
Contact the author:
Dr. John Badertscher
Winnipeg, MB, 204-219-2839


"Feisty and Fearless -
  Glimpses into the Life of Lois M. Wilson"
  by Janice L. Meighan
  July 27th, 2014


"Proposals -
  Getting Started, Getting Better"
  by Isabel Gibson
  August 10th, 2014


"A Good Ending -
  A Compassionate Guide to Funerals,
  Pastoral Care and Life Celebrations"
  by David Sparks
  August 24th, 2014


"A Fair Country" by John Ralston Saul (and)

"Medicine Walk" by  Richard Wagamese

  August 31st, 2014


"Joan Chittister - Writings Selected"
  edited by Mary Lou Kownacki
  and Mary Hembrow Snyder
  September 14th, 2014

"Eager to Love -
  The Alternative Way of St. Francis of Assisi
  by Richard Rohr
  September 21st, 2014


"Encyclopedia of
  Goddesses and Heroines"
  by Patricia Monaghan
  September 28th, 2014

- on a similar theme by Joseph Campbell


"The Emerging Church -
  Revised and Expanded"
  by Bruce Sanguin
  October 19th, 2014


"I Want to Be in That Number"
  by Lois M. Wilson
  October 26th, 2014

Buy the Book from the Author:
Discuss best way to get your copy

"Thomas Berry - Selected Writings"
  Edited by M.E. Tucker and John Grim 
  November 2nd, 2014

"Fields of Blood - Religion and Violence"
  by Karen Armstrong
  November 16th, 2014


"Vanishing Grace" by Philip Yancey
  November 30th, 2014


"Small Victories" by Ann Lamott
  December 7th, 2014

(Sub-total of 15)   

"Looking at a Life - Connecting the Dots
  How Colleagues List Helps Me Integrate Things"
  A New Year Reflection
  January 19th, 2014 


"Richard Rohr Interview -
  Notes by Wayne Holst"
  January 26th, 2014


"Interfaith Dialogue Notes
  on 'Green Faith'"

  Event Sponsored by the Calgary
  Inter-faith Dialogue Institute
  Notes by Wayne Holst
  January 26th, 2014


"My Book Notices - Reasons for
  Introducing Contemporary Titles
  on My Colleagues List"
  February 9th, 2014


"George Bernard Shaw -
  Introducing a Contemporary Dramatist
  Through His Play 'Major Barbara'"
  February 23rd, 2014


"How Movies Shape our Image of Jesus"
  Our modern cultural understanding of
  Jesus is shaped largely by the movies
  March 2nd, 2014


"Germany's Quincentenary Celebration
  of the Reformation in an Age of Religious
  Pluralism and Secularization"

- notes on a lecture by
  Dr. Hartmut Lehmann  Professor of Modern
  History at the University of Kiel, Germany
  March 16th, 2014


"The Diary of Anne Frank"
  Personal Reflections on the Play
  Rosebud Theatre, Rosebud Alberta
  April 20th, 2014


"Thoughts on a New Cathedral -
  The Transition from 'Crystal' to 'Christ'
  in Orange County, California"
  June 15th, 2014

Note related links in this article


"A Visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake City"
  Reflecting on the Latter Day Saints Today
  June 22nd, 2014

Note related links in this article

  by Mathew Zachariah
  July 13th, 2014

Note links to other writings by Mathew


"Beyond Multi-Culturalism -
  Grounding Ourselves in a
  Native Canadian Centre"
  September 7th, 2014


"Personal Thanksgiving Reflection"
  October 12th, 2014


"Remembering William Hordern"
  November 23rd, 2014 (obituary)


"Holst Family Christmas Letter, 2014"
  December 21st, 2014


(Sub-total of 4)

"Zealot" - by Reza Aslan
 December 4th, 2014



"Living in a post-denominational reality"
  November 4th, 2014


"An emerging new sense of Canadian identity"
  November 18th, 2014


"A Distinct Advent/Christmas Message"
  December 12th, 2014

(end of report)



Provided by the New York Times
An American Perspective
December 28th, 2014



There’s nothing romantic about the Christmas
story. If anything, it offers a slice of a brutal
world in which a child is born on the street,
so to speak, with next tonothing in the way
of rights and security, and not even a home.

He whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas
said, even as a grown man, “I have nothing.
I am nowhere at home. Even at night, I have
no place to rest or lay my head”... But now this
man from Nazareth comes to us and invites us
to mirror God’s image, and shows us how. He
says: you too can become light, as God is light.

Because what is all around you is not hell, but
rather a world waiting to be filled with hope
and faith.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Colleagues List, December 21st, 2014

Vol. X.  No. 20



Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:

"Quicklinks" are included with many items
at the beginning of this issue. To get a more
complete picture, however, scroll down to
find your special selection in the body of
the blog.


Calgary, Alberta
Christmas, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

2014 was a year of transitioning through
semi-retirement for both of us. We have
more free time from formal work duties
but new opportunities to invest ourselves
in activities we enjoy. That implies time
with family, plus more fitness, travel and

cultural event possibilities.

Our immediate family has not changed in

size – reflecting the first time we have not
added new grandchildren in almost five
years. Our extended family continues to
grow, however.

We became quite aware of that this past

July 26th when we hosted almost all of
Marlene’s siblings and their related families
at a gathering in our back yard. The occasion
was to say goodbye to Carmen and Mark,
Emily and Owen Hamm (Marlene’s second

daughter and her family) who are now on
a four-year stint with Shell in the nation of
Oman (Saudi peninsula).

A total of just-under thirty people attended

this wonderful event. This was for us a
highlight of the year. We hope the Hamms
felt well-supported. Marlene and I plan to
visit them in Oman.

Meanwhile they are living an experience of

a lifetime in an oil-rich Muslim nation. These
grandchildren are learning to develop socially
in a multi-cultural environment where, as
white Canadians, they are in the distinct

minority. This was Jacqui’s experience
(Wayne’s daughter from his first family)
when they lived in Trinidad, West Indies –
45 years ago.
But how the world has changed!

Wayne has completed his teaching career

through Continuing Education at the
University of Calgary where he was
employed for 25 years. He still teaches
at the Faith and Spirituality Centre on
campus however and continues to enjoy
the challenge. He leads many learning
and spiritual development programs as
staff at St. David’s United Church, where

he has served for a quarter century.

Wayne has begun to write as a regular
columnist and reviewer for the Anglican

Journal (Toronto). This provides extra
money for cultural events we enjoy and
gives him much satisfaction. He also
creates his weekly religion and culture
blog - Colleagues List - noting weekly
global hits reaching several thousand -

Marlene enjoys more free time, but works

as a backup in the church office. She also
loves ”face times” Skyping with her
grandchildren – luxury not afforded
previous nanna generations.

We spent the month of May traveling

down the West Coast of the USA and
returned via the Mountain States;
enjoying an anniversary trip to Glacier
National Park, Montana in October.

Next October, we hope to lead another

St. David’s Spiritual Travelers tour
(our third). This time we go to Jerusalem
(Israel & Jordan) visiting sacred sites of
Jews, Christians and Muslims.

We wish you and your loved ones the

best of this Holy Season of the year and
hope to hear from you.

Marlene and Wayne



Anglican Journal
December 12th, 2014

My December Column -


CLOSING THOUGHT - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

If only it were all so simple!

If only there were evil people somewhere
insidiously committing evil deeds, and it
were necessary only to separate them from
the rest of us and destroy them. But the line
dividing good and evil cuts through the heart
of every human being. And who is willing to
destroy a piece of [their] own heart?


Next Week:

My final Colleagues List for 2014 --
a compilation, with links,  of all
45 book notices, reviews, articles
and reflections this year. 


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Colleagues List, December 14th, 2014

Vol. X.  No. 19



Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:

"Quicklinks" are included with many items
at the beginning of this issue. To get a more
complete picture, however, scroll down to
find your special selection in the body of
the blog. 

Note that not all items here have links.


Dear Friends:

Several weeks ago, we hosted a good group
of people at St. David's on the importance
of Jesus. The unique thing about it was that
the presenter and many in the audience
were Muslims.

This week, the Anglican Journal published
my review of Reza Aslan's "Zealot." The
author is a Muslim. In April of next year I
will introduce our speaker that night and
Zeki Saritoprak's book "Islam's Jesus." I
will try to suggest how the two books
compare and contrast.

At this point, Malik Muradov, a Turkish-
Canadian friend comments on my Aslan
review and prepares us for Saritoprak's
forthcoming book.

Scroll down to read his comments.


Colleague Comment - Elfrieda Schroeder
of Winnipeg wrote this week with questions
about my Bonhoeffer quote in last week's
Wisdom section.

Scroll down to read  that quote and her search
for clarity in Bonhoeffer's original German

Thanks for working with me on this Elfrieda!


Colleague Communications - this week

Lorna Dueck (Toronto ON) - writes
on "The Trinity-Western Affair"

William Shantz (Thunder Bay ON) -
reflects on the meaning of Son of God
Saviour and Messiah - terms that
Christians use, often unthinkingly
(scroll down to read him)

Martin Marty (Chicago IL) - considers
"Sacred Sites" including Christchurch
in New Zealand and its unique "Cardboard

Jim Taylor (Okanagan BC) - addresses
"Visibility for Forgotten Children"

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio TX) -
creates a memorial to a hockey great
who died this week in Quebec:
"Honouring Talent and Grace -
  Jean Beliveau RIP"

Written by a Canadian in Exile

Marjorie Gibson (Vancouver BC)
reflects on her life and wishes us
"Happy Holidays"

Harry Winter (St. Paul MN)
gives advice on the theme of
"Preparing for Christmas Evangelization"


Net Notes - this week are as follows:

"Fields of Blood - Religion and Violence"
by Karen Armstrong is reviewed this weekend
in the (New York Times Review of Books)

"Vietnam War Photos" - a cache of dramatic
pictures taken during the war recently turned
up; most interesting (The Atlantic Online)

"Death of a Megachurch" - what can be learned
from the demise of one of America's major big box
churches and its satellites? (Leadership Journal)

"Exodus: Gods and Kings" - an action movie,
not a religious one, opens this weekend.
(Marlene and I went to see it and liked it -
even though it ranges from the 'script'
An Official Trailer:
(New York Times - two reviews)

"Things Not to Do at Christmas" - if you are
starting to think of things to do this year,
here are a few to avoid doing (UCA News/

"Aboriginal Literature is Popular" - writing
by and about Canadian First Nations is
getting a lot of attention these days
(Publishers Weekly)

"Health Benefits of Going Outside" - many of
us know this already but it is still worth
renewed consideration (The Atlantic Online)

"John McCain on CIA Torture Report" - big news
this week was a radical expose of US terror
tactics after 9/11  that seem no better than
ISIS,  and a Republican senator speaks (video)

"Resettlement of Syrian Refugees Falls Short"
- Canada is not even honouring its limited
commitment to respond to a human disaster
(CBC News)

"Anglican Communion May Not Hold Together
- the archbishop of Canterbury shares his
concerns (National Catholic Reporter)


Wisdom of the Week - provided by Sojourners
and Bruderhof online comes from the following:

Soren Kierkegaard, Jane Kamensky, Dorothy Day,
Leonardo da Vinci and Oscar Romero

Please scroll down to read them.


On This Day - Dec. 7th-13th

From the Archives of the New York Times

"Kenya Gains Independence from Britain"

"UN Adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

"Polish Authorities Crack Down on Solidarity"

Closing Thought - Aloysius Tang
Justin Martyr School, Markham ON

Scroll down to read this young boy


For those interested in our new program
scroll to the end of the blog -

Winter 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
and at the University of Calgary



Book Review by Wayne Holst:

"Zealot: The Life and Times
  of Jesus of Nazareth"
  by Reza Aslan

Anglican Journal,
Anglican Church in Canada
December 2014 edition

With comments by Malik Muradov
Intercultural Dialogue Centre, Calgary

December 10th, 2014

Hello Wayne:

I have read your review of "Zealot." It is a
great commentary. One thing that I would
have added is that he wrote this book as a
historian, not as a Muslim. Because his
standpoint is against the very Muslim beliefs
about Jesus too.
I will look forward to your review of the
"Islam's Jesus" book.

Thanks a lot for your efforts about the

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Malik Muradov, Executive Director
Intercultural Dialogue Centre (IDI Calgary)

Editor's Note:

Malik is a Turkish-Canadian and friend
of St. David's United Church in Calgary
where he has spoken and served a special
delicacy "Noah's Pudding" to members of
our congregation last January.

On December 3rd,  2014 Dr. Seki Saritoprak
of  James Carroll University, Cleveland  OH
addressed a group of about 60 persons at
the church and introduced his new book
"Islam's Jesus" coming out in paperback,
April, 2015.

The event was co-sponsored by IDI,
the Faith and Spirituality Centre at
the University of Calgary and
St. David's United ACTS Ministry.

The book will be introduced here
when it comes available.



Winnipeg, MB

Dec. 7th, 2014


What exactly does Bonhoeffer's quote mean?
(Wisdom of the Week, December 7th, 2014)

"Not everyone can wait: neither the sated nor
the satisfied nor those without respect can wait.
The only ones who can wait are people who
carry restlessness around with them."

Hardy (my husband) and I were a bit puzzled by it.

Source of the Bonhoeffer quote (German)

After searching the original text, she writes:

My attempt to translate the above from German:

"Not everyone can wait: not the one who is full,
satisfied, and not the one who is disrespectful.
Only those who are restless and those who look
up with awe to the greatest in the world are
able to wait."

She ends:

Thank you for taking time to reply. I did find the
German original taken from the link above. 

After doing this exercise I think I have gained
some clarity of the meaning Bonhoeffer intended.




Toronto, ON

Globe and Mail
December 11th, 2014

"The Trinity-Western Affair"


Thunder Bay, ON

Personal Reflection

"Impeaching Christianity's Lack
  of Conceptual Integrity -
  Taking 'God' Out of Christmas"

December 12, 2014

Dear Wayne

Self-proclaimed heretic that I am, I
have recently noticed that the "Messiah"
referred to in the Old Testament (the

Hebrew Bible) is never there identified
as the "Son of God."

(Try checking your concordance.)

Old Testament prophets have judged
the concept of God consorting
(angelically or otherwise) with a
human female to beget off-spring
as being idolatrous/pagan.

Perhaps the reason that Paul was more
successful evangelizing Gentiles than
Jews was because the former were already
accustomed to the concept "Son of God': 
entities like Roman Emperors already
carried this title.  And the Gentiles may
have calculated that it was a good idea
for their 'Saviour' to claim kinship with
the powerful and honourable Jewish God
rather than Zeus or Jupiter.

As with most salesmen, Paul was more
interested in purveying his products
(his mystical Conversion experience
and his reconfiguration of the Judaic
'Messiah' as a Greco-Roman 'god-man')
than conceptual integrity.  Indeed, he
disparaged the latter as "the wisdom
of the world".

The fact remains that in the Old Testament,
a/the foundation of Christianity, the
promised Messiah is never designated
as being the Son of God.

Rhetorically: (a) Is Christian theology
as conceptually corrupt as some aspects
of contemporary Western political practice?

(b) Does Christianity rely on 'sleight of
concept' to enthrall/enchant/mesmerize 
people?  and

 (c) Is ignoring reality the foundation of Faith?

Please note that I have not disqualified the
possibility that Jesus was/is the Messiah
promised in the Old Testament - only that
Jesus is, logically and historically NOT
the Son of God.

William Shantz


Chicago. IL

December 8th, 2014

"Sacred Sites"


Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
Dec. 7th, 2014

"Visibility for Forgotten Children"


San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
December 8th, 2014

"Honouring Talent and Grace
  Jean Beliveau RIP"

Written by a Canadian in Exile


Vancouver, BC

Marjorie Remembers Blog
December 10th, 2014

"Happy Holidays"


St. Paul, MN

Website of the Oblates USA

"Preparing for Christmas Evangelization"



Religion and Violence
by Karen Armstrong

New York Times Review of Books
December 14th, 2014


Lost for 45 years

The Atlantic Online
via Sojourners Online
December 11th, 2014


Lessons to be Learned

Leadership Journal
December 8th, 2014


(An Action, Not Religion, Movie)

An Official Trailer:

New York Times Reviews
Nov. 28th, Dec. 11th 2014


5 Practices Christians Should Avoid

UCA News/The International
December 12th, 2014


Native Writing in Canada Well Received

Publishers Weekly
November 28th, 2014


An Emerging Ecotherapy Movement

The Atlantic Online
December 12th, 2014


Senator Speaks of Basic Human Rights

December 9th, 2014


Canadian Government Pledged to
Receive Much Higher Number

CBC News
December 4th, 2014


Canterbury Speaks Candidly

National Catholic Reporter
December 11th, 2014



The truth is a trap: you cannot get it
without it getting you; you cannot get
the truth by capturing it, only by its
capturing you.

- Soren Kierkegaard


Holidays say much less about who we really
were in some specific Then, than about who
we want to be in an ever-changing Now.

- Jane Kamensky


I really only love God as much as I love
the person I love the least.

- Dorothy Day


Nothing strengthens authority so much
as silence.

- Leonardo da Vinci


No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor. The self-sufficient,
the proud, those who, because they have
everything, look down on others, those who
have no need even of God – for them there
will be no Christmas.

Only the poor, the hungry, those who need
someone to come on their behalf, will have
that someone. That someone is God, Emmanuel,
God-with-us. Without poverty of spirit there can
be no abundance of God.

- Oscar Romero



Dec. 7th-13th

From the Archives
of the New York Times

"Kenya Gains Independence from Britain"

"UN Adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

"Polish Authorities Crack Down on Solidarity"


Writing in a school project, June 10, 2014
Scarboro Missions Magazine, Dec. 2014

Dear Pope Francis:

I am so happy to know that I can write to you!

Thank you for working so hard for God. I am
now a choir member of St. Justin Martyr Church
(Markham, ON) and I attend mass every Saturday.

I hope you can come to Toronto and I can sing in
your mass. Hope to see you soon.

Aloysius Tang (10 years old)
Click current issue, scroll to page 22.



Winter 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
and at the University of Calgary:


January 12nd – March 23rd, 2015
7-00-9:00PM TM Room. Ten Weeks.
(Family Day Monday exempted)

“Fields of Blood: Religion and

  the History of Violence”
  by Karen Armstrong

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

Registration $60.00. Book only $25.00

January 15th - April 2nd, 2015. Twelve Weeks.
10:00-11:00AM TM Room

(Biblical study theme selected at first session)

Led by Wayne Holst

No charge.

Study resource -
The DK Complete Bible Handbook



"Jerusalem and the Land of Three Great Faiths"
  October 16th - 31st, 2015

Tour Company: Rostad Tours Calgary

Tour Hosts: Wayne and Marlene Holst
Sponsored by: St. David's ACTS Ministry
Endorsed by: St. David's Church Council

(Tour itinerary/costs brochure

  available early in the new year)



Interfaith Chaplains' Book Studies
for faculty, students, staff, and
campus guests - Winter, 2015

A Book Study Co-Sponsored by:
The Faith and Spirituality Centre,
University of Calgary and
The ACTS Ministry,
St. David's United Church, Calgary

Native Centre Board Room
McEwan Student Centre
Fridays, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Feb. 20th, 27th, March 6th, 13th, 20th

The study takes place during five Friday
sessions. Book to be selected by electronic
vote of those who are interested in joining
the study.

Participants are encouraged to attend
all five sessions. However, you may attend
one or more sessions on a drop-in basis.

Study Leader: Dr. Wayne A. Holst

Book cost $15.00