Years ago at Regent in Vancouver, where we met, we embraced the philosophy of Jim Houston in his vision for Regent College—to aid professional people to be as educated in their Christian faith experience—i.e. their biblical and theological and spiritual understanding—as they are in their academic/career disciplines.

That vision has remained with us as we have studied and taught over the last 40 years—Alan in pastoral ministry and theology and Elizabeth in her world of English literature.

More than ever, we are passionate about the need to engage Christians in an intentional awareness of the life of the unseen and the eternal. We spend so much energy and time in a political and professional environment that makes us anxious and ineffective and even depressed, in spite of our activity and achievements. We sometimes spend more time defending God than listening to Him!

Each of our books touches on familiar topics of scripture reading, prayer, solitude, praise—but defamiliarizing the discussion with questions at the end of the chapter that probe our actual practice.

All through the years Alan has been an avid reader of classic spiritual writings in both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Writers such as Evelyn Underhill, David Stendl-Rast, Peter Van Breemen, Karl Rahner, Edward Farrell, Esther DeWaal have shaped his thinking and made their way into insights expressed in his books.

He takes quality films to heart; he’s a serious scuba diver and lover of nature—all elements that shape the content of his writing.

Elizabeth, of course, has been immersed in literary texts and music that have funded her imaginative and spiritual life, and a few of those works have made their way into each book.