Too Deep for Words (New York: Paulist Press, 1988)

Rediscovering Lectio Divina

stepping stonesAt the heart of Christian spirituality, Too Deep for Words retrieves from obscurity the lost art of contemplative prayer as practiced for sixteen centuries in monastic tradition, and provides 500 thematically arranged scripture texts as rich resources for this intimate prayer. Paperback.

From a review on Barnes & Noble:

The clarity and simplicity of this little book (the main text is only 56 pp., followed by a list of 500 biblical passages suitable for lectio divina, arranged around 50 themes) make it one of the best explanations of contemplative spirituality and its place in the overall Christian life that I’ve seen. Hall’s focus on the scriptures and on Jesus, her way of placing contemplative experience in the midst of a life of discipleship, and her strong emphasis on God’s initiative as opposed to our efforts or ‘achievements’ in prayer, make her ideas accessible to Protestant as well as Catholic readers. If you are looking for a book to introduce contemplative spirituality in general, or lectio divina in particular, to people unfamiliar with it, this is an excellent choice.

About Thelma Hall

The author is a Christian and a member of the Religious of the Cenacle. As co-director of the Cenacle Retreat House in Bedford Village, New York, she has been engaged in on-going spiritual direction. She has directed retreats for priests, sisters and lay people since 1974.


Too Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio DivinaToo Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina by Thelma Hall
You can read my reviews (I posted as at various points as I read through) on If you are on Goodreads, please visit my author site and “Like” The Soul of Atlas.

Click here to view all my reviews on

Aldous HuxleyThe philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do.

Aldous Huxley
Ends and Means (New York: Harper, 1937), 269

11 Rules for High Schoolers (but not from Bill Gates)

I stumbled across 11 Rules that were reportedly itemized in a speech to high school students given by Bill Gates. They were listed in sort of a chart form, and I was going to post them here as the Chart of the Week. Well, not so fast. While I love this politically incorrect advice and […]

Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2011)

In The Soul of Atlas, I wrote about the Conversation between Ayn Rand and Christianity that has taken place in my my life. My stepfather John introduced me to Ayn Rand and my biological father introduced me to Christianity. Since then, many others have joined the Conversation, making it more like a party at times, or a coffee house, depending on which metaphor draws you in. Either way, I have had a lot of help. John Piper‘s writing has been one of the biggest sources, especially Desiring God.

The first headline on’s book page for Desiring God is “Experience the Lifelong Pleasures of Knowing God!”

From the Description:

Satisfaction… Happiness… Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.
Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God. John Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.
Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, John Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.
Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonist’s abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesus—not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.
Desiring God may turn your Christian world upside down. And that will be a good thing, for the glory of God, and for your deepest joy.
Includes a study guide for individual and small group use.


I highly recommend Desiring God. Many of the points that Dad shares with me in The Soul of Atlas from the perspective of a passionate Christian, John Piper addresses in thoughtful, well-written prose. If you’re still not rushing out to devour Desiring God, I recommend looking at my review on


Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian HedonistDesiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
You can read my reviews on While you’re there, please visit my author site and “Like” The Soul of Atlas.

Serenity-PrayerGod grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr
The Essential Reinhold Niebuhr: Selected Essays and Addresses (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987), 72

Respect for Christopher Hitchens… from an Ayn Rand-enthusiast and a Christian

Christopher Hitchens was a brilliant, articulate, and well-read critic of Christianity and Ayn Rand. I enjoy the way he presents his ideas with humor and biting sarcasm, even though he often targets my own intellectual conclusions and faith commitments. I have done some debating and I am often asked whether I have debated Christopher Hitchens. […]

The Soul of Atlas: Ayn Rand, Christianity, a Quest for Common Ground (Henderson, NV: Reason Publishing, 2013)

Ayn Rand, Christianity, a Quest for Common Ground

TSOA-Color-Headshot-200x175In this insightful and practical book, the author builds a case for common ground between Faith and Reason. The Soul of Atlas is the story of a conversation between two world views: Ayn Rand‘s philosophy and Christianity. These influential ways of viewing the world are represented by the men who shaped his life: the author’s two fathers. As each father articulates his philosophy, the resulting conversation will challenge your own way of thinking and suggest surprising ways to engage.
In a recent survey, readers referenced Atlas Shrugged as the second most influential book in their lives; the Bible was number one. Until now, a serious dialogue between the two has never played out.

The Soul of Atlas Mission

It’s time that Ayn Rand’s values were validated and embraced by all parties, including the Christians she often misunderstands. It’s time that Rand’s followers and others understand the difference between religion and the Gospel. The Soul of Atlas explains Atheism to Christians and the Gospel to Objectivists. The Soul of Atlas will help secular Libertarians and Christian conservatives to cooperate to take our country back.

If you have read, or are reading, or even intend to read The Soul of Atlas, I would love to hear from you.


The Soul of AtlasThe Soul of Atlas by Mark David Henderson
You can read my reviews (I posted some additional comments for you to follow along) on If you are on Goodreads, please visit my author site and “Like” The Soul of Atlas.

Please share your comments here!

Where does a four-decade quadriplegic get her inspiration?

I listened to Joni Eareckson Tada‘s thoughts about her breast cancer and her quadriplegia. It seems every time I hear her speak about her life, I am moved to tears, real tears, sometimes more than just a fleeting moment. This morning, I think I lost my “man card” because I just couldn’t hold back. The […]