Category Archives: Books

Churches as Contempt-free and Condemnation-free Zones

It is generally acknowledged that our society has become increasingly mean-spirited. Unless today’s politician is chronically incensed and habitually scornful, no one will take him or her seriously. The so-called “liberal elite” are famously contemptuous: that conservatives are morally-challenged dimwits … Continue reading

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The Number One Rule in Great Story-Writing

A great storyteller can bring a character to life, metaphorically speaking. There’s no one who does it better than the novelist and poet Wendell Berry. His Port William “membership” is replete with memorable characters, and his Burley Coulter is one … Continue reading

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Shame and Shamelessness in Contemporary Culture

“I feel like a garbage can, full of ugly, nasty things.” That’s how a young woman once described herself to me. She was in her late teens or early twenties, and had been raised with a sexually abusive father until … Continue reading

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Reading the Bible Through Red, White, and Blue Lenses

There is no reference to America in the Bible, though some prophecy buffs have tried hard to find one. I tried too, when I was a young Christian. Surely, I thought, the United States of America, the most powerful country … Continue reading

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The Power We So Blithely Invoke

Sometimes God scares me. Not like an angry parent scares a cowering child. It’s not like that at all. Still less like a bully scares a retiring classmate. “Scares” is probably not even the right word. “Awes” would be better, … Continue reading

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Books I Wish Someone Would Write

I recently saw an article about books that someone should write. Christian leaders had been interviewed about the kind of books they would like to read and, while I admit I found most of their suggestions uninteresting, I found the … Continue reading

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A humbler approach to the Bible

My doctor referred me to a vascular surgeon for a consult. The surgeon’s assistant led me to an examination room and went over my paperwork, asked a bunch of questions, then told me I’d have to strip down to my … Continue reading

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