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Literature


The Only Hope is through Horror: The Only Good Indians and the Cycles We Long to Escape

Stephen Graham Jones’ latest novel The Only Good Indians is a story of memory, guilt, and vengeance, and it is triggering in the most spiritually illuminating way. I come to it as a Native American and read in it of paranormal horror which arises out of and highlights the mundane horror which permeates contemporary native […]

Variations on Beowulf, Feminist and Christian

What Beowulf should have known was that he was a sinner just like Grendel. If they had both trusted in Christ as their personal lord and savior, Beowulf wouldn’t’ve had to kill Grendel, and they could have avoided all this mess. My classmate finished speaking, smiled, and sat down. My sixth-grade homeschool co-op English teacher […]

Wendell Berry Wants to Shoot a Drone

It may have been a test when an old girlfriend asked me to buckle her friend’s toddler into the car seat. And it should have been a simple enough test to pass, but to a single guy like me, that car seat looked like it had been designed by M. C. Escher. After several confused […]

Pirates, Parrots, and Plot Holes of Grace

What books a child wants to read often reflects the TV they’re watching during the day, for better and worse. Whether it’s Paw Patrol, Doc McStuffins, Wild Kratts, or Octonauts, animal-themed shows are kind of the norm, and probably always have been. For little kids, you can’t really go wrong with talking animals (Bluey is a personal favorite). […]

What Jack Reacher Reaches For

Jack Reacher is in the news … or technically, his creator, Lee Child, is. Lee is passing off the lucrative thriller-writing franchise (over 100 million Jack Reacher books sold to date) to his brother, Andrew. I’ve enjoyed several Reacher books, especially on overnight flights. The 6’5″ detective stands tall in these easy reads — nearly […]

The Personal Is Apocalyptic: When Your World Unravels

It’s become commonplace to see our contemporary moment described as apocalyptic or to warn of looming post-apocalyptic threats. But what exactly does “apocalypse” mean? In popular usage “apocalypse” denotes the end of the world. This is right insofar as the event of revelation always means the end of the world the recipient had previously assumed. […]

Experiencing Law and Gospel Through Dostoevsky and Jesus

Grateful for this post from Lisa Cooper: For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:20) If you had asked me as a fourteen-year-old where I was destined to be after I died — Heaven or Hell? — I […]

“Himself,” from Pearly Gates: Parables from the Final Threshold

The following short story comes from Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, excerpted from her newly released book, Pearly Gates: Parables From the Final Threshold. A free preview of the first three stories is available here! “I suppose,” said the man, “you expect me to worship you.” “It is the customary preamble to entry,” conceded the Lord. “Ha!” […]

Jamie Quatro Envisions Unconditional Love in New York City

After speaking at our conference last year, Leslie Jamison recommended a book that she had read in one sitting: Jamie Quatro’s Fire Sermon. Aptly named, this inferno of a novel is about desire, transgression, self-loathing and acceptance; I, too, read it quickly (not in one sitting, but quickly!). The protagonist, Maggie, is a writer wrestling […]

Sacred Wounds that Give Life

Natasha Trethewey is trying to redeem herself — or at least the aspect of herself she lost when she buried the emotional memory of her mother’s tragic death. Her collection of poems, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoirs, represents an attempt to unearth the past with clarity and insight, adding prose and metaphor to speak to […]

Church Shopping at the Apocalypse

This (timely!) article by CJ Green was originally featured in Issue 7 of The Mockingbird: The Church Issue.  Don’t tell me you’re going to read Stephen King next, my mom said when I started high school, suspiciously eyeballing my more grown-up selection of books. At the time, I didn’t know who Stephen King was, but […]

Love, Compassion, and the Relative Suffering of Christ on the Cross: Intimations by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s Intimations is a short collection of essays about life in corona-time. Most of them are fixed on that singularly bizarre March/April when “surreal” was the only word most of us could cough up; not surprisingly, Smith has a more expressive vocabulary. If the book arouses any suspicion, it’s that it came too fast, […]