Lent is the time when we turn inward in a self-critical sort of way. Since this is a blog that tends toward challenging the way we think, I’m advocating we make a specific practice out of this for Lent. Let’s give up orthodoxy for Lent. Come on, as if we all thought we’ve got pure doctrine anyway–is that even possible? Let’s embrace our inner heretic (who’s probably bigger than we think) and allow our confidence to be broken.

Paraclete Press has a great deal going for Lent. One of my favorite authors whose writing challenges our thinking to the core, Peter Rollins, wrote a little book full of parables that are meant to be transformative of our thinking, and even our being, if we just allow them to get under our skin of theological confidence to fester a bit.

In the The Orthodox Heretic, Rollins offers short parables and a few interpretive follow-up thoughts to go with each one. There are almost enough to get through the entire season of Lent reading one per day. Almost enough. Paraclete is offering 7 extra parables by email to anyone who orders The Orthodox Heretic. If you order today, you’ll get the 7 parables through a link in your order confirmation, then, just as you’re finished with those, The Orthodox Heretic should arrive and you can continue reading parables, 1 per day, for the entire season of Lent.

I love these parables for how they tell a simple story, yet communicate a message that’s challenging, that turns our taken-for-granted thinking upside-down, and even shatters some of the thoughts we hold near and dear. Parables are a unique means of communication that capture there hearer’s/reader’s imagination through imagery and story, and thus allow the speaker/teller to get beyond just the mind, but further to the heart. I’ve used them in sermons, conversations, and even in a recent academic manuscript.

Become a Heretic for Lent…in the end, you might come to know Orthodoxy in a remarkably different way.