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In 2016, The Economist Espresso asked an intriguing question on April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday: “Would you agree that you find Shakespeare relevant today?” The survey found that in Brazil (85 percent) and Mexico (82 percent), the answer was yes, followed close behind by India, China, Turkey, and South Africa. Yet only half of British and […]

Michael S. Horton
Friday, January 1st 2021

The OverstoryBy Richard PowersW. W. Norton, 2018502 pages (paperback), $18.99 It has long been known that powerful storytelling helps us become more sympathetic toward others. Thousands of years ago, Aristotle demonstrated the importance of using drama to create compassion in us toward the plight of others through what he called “catharsis”—a purification of our emotions. […]

Patricia Anders
W.W. Norton
Friday, January 1st 2021

Theology seems to have a rather bad reputation these days. By the late Middle Ages, she was the “queen of the sciences,” but today she is no longer the queen. In fact, theology is no longer even in the royal family but a kind of awkward stepsister to subjective personal opinion and a third cousin […]

Greg Peters
Friday, January 1st 2021

We have more leisure time today than in any period in history. We also have more options for spending that leisure time. For most people (unless you are an English professor, like me), reading fiction is easily seen as purely a leisure activity. And for many, watching sports, streaming movies, or scrolling Twitter seem like […]

Karen Swallow Prior
Friday, January 1st 2021

Nearly four-hundred feet inside a sandstone mountain on the far northerly Norwegian island of Spitsbergen lies the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Housing four-hundred-thousand seed samples, the purpose of the vault is to provide a storehouse of plant species in case of loss of agricultural biodiversity. Literature curricula have served similar purposes in history. One thinks, […]

Joshua Schendel
Friday, January 1st 2021

There’s an older gentleman I see every summer at the beach. With his striking white hair and serious tan, clad only in swim shorts, he walks up and down our local six-mile beach, reading. Every time I see him, he’s reading—reading and walking, walking and reading. One day, I saw him reading the New York […]

Patricia Anders
Wednesday, May 1st 2019

Pray for Salam’s safety in Tunisia. Her family will try to kill her if she converts. These words are printed on a prayer calendar that hangs in my home. Christians are not strangers to stories of family persecution and estrangement. In general, the accounts we hear tend to sound like Salam’s—they are life-threatening situations where […]

Nana Dolce
Tara Westover
Wednesday, May 1st 2019

Rachel Hollis has done a lot of things. Growing up in a tragic family situation, she moved to Los Angeles in her teens, married a marketing professional in the entertainment industry, worked as an event planner, had four children and fostered others, took up blogging, started a business, wrote novels, ran marathons, and describes herself […]

Leslie A. Wicke
Rachel Hollis
Tuesday, January 1st 2019

The well-read life was the aspiration of bygone saints. For them, heaven on earth was a scriptorium, where illuminated manuscripts and scrolls containing the collected knowledge, wisdom, and misinformation of the ages were available to the literate for their use, enjoyment, and befuddlement. There are three stages in the history of God’s people that can […]

Rick Ritchie
Sunday, July 1st 2018

Since director Martin Scorsese turned it into a film last year, many have written about Shūsaku Endō’s novel Silence. The novel is a compelling story that addresses two important questions by depicting the thoughts, emotions, and struggles of real historical characters and events. The novel combines personal letters and narrative prose, all from the perspective […]

Leah Baugh
Shusaku Endo
Sunday, July 1st 2018

In his book The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, Alan Jacobs writes that Americans tend to think of reading as something that is “good for you”—the intellectual equivalent of eating kale and jogging. While acknowledging the value of how-to-read books—such as the venerable How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and […]

Brooke Ventura
Sunday, July 1st 2018

In the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the main character Joel Barish (played by Jim Carrey) meets a quirky, blue-haired woman named Clementine (Kate Winslet) on a train, and after a short period of mutual flirtation, they begin an emotionally intense relationship. Then one day Joel receives a crushing revelation about Clementine […]

Erik O'Dell
Chad Bird
Tuesday, May 1st 2018

"The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive. Get yourself out of the way." ‘C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism In the Parks and Recreation episode "The Camel," Tom Haverford (played by Aziz Ansari), bon vivant and assistant to Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), hires a local art […]

Brooke Ventura
William Paul Young
Monday, February 29th 2016

One of the hallmarks of a good storyteller is character development. While one-dimensional, predictable characters can derail a good plot, even a simple story can come alive if inhabited with characters written with depth and complexity. Many of us have forgotten that one of the best ways to approach the Bible is as a story […]

Eric Landry
Thursday, December 31st 2015

So, this is death. My son’s body, yesterday strong and lively, is lying listless and cold in a pool of blood. I have seen animals dying, even back in the Garden, when the Lord replaced our inadequate leaf coverings with animal skins, sacrificing an animal for our protection. But this is different. Death has come […]

Simonetta Carr
Thursday, December 31st 2015

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

J. Ligon Duncan, IIISenior Minister, First Presbyterian Church