Nathaniel Martin sailed with his friend and fellow-naturalist Stephen Maturin on two long sea voyages in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, first as the ship's chaplain and later as Maturin's assistant surgeon. Never much of a fist at sermonizing, Martin took to writing and publishing impolitic tracts that offended the Royal Navy Board and prevented him from returning as a chaplain.
Martin lost an eye to an owl, and, as long as Martin's eye was single, O'Brian let him rival Captain Jack Aubrey for Maturin's time and friendship. Martin married between voyages, however, and his newfound obsession with providing for his family began to make him tedious company for Maturin. (Banality is the worst symptom a character can present with in these novels.) Martin's overheated conscience led him to an end straight out of Hawthorne, with whom he shared his first name.
These are the sermons he never wrote.
The root of much of my hypocrisy may have been a fundamental misconception of Christianity. I believe I have shared this misconception with many of my evangelical friends for more than twenty years. The misconception? I equated being a follower of Jesus with conversion. They’re not the same. Take me, for instance. I became a […]
[The third of five occasional articles of variations on Lectio Divina meditation based on the book Prayer and Temperament by Chester P. Michael and Marie C. Norrisey.] Discursive Meditation: a Short History Developed over the first Christian centuries, the form of meditation known as Lectio Divinaincluded the elements of reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation. These elements […]
[Read my exclusive interview of Chester P. Michael here.] A friend of mine, outgoing and practical, was asked recently what he would like to see more of in our church. “Meditation,” he responded. I don’t think he would have felt that way if he had not participated in a series based on Chester P. Michael […]