Good Letters

Breaking Bad’s Walter White is My Shining Star


So why did I take instant interest, even comfort, in a man who lurched down a dirt road with unconscious, poisoned men rolling around the floor of an RV? Why me, the girl who did not attend one drinking party in high school or college and who has never lit, snorted, or injected a thing? With every reason to fill my mind with good things, why did I keep wanting to return one of the most disturbing TV shows of all time?

Original Sin and the Warp Effect


Man, on the other hand, has no cap to his desires; they are boundless. Further, unlike animals, humans are not necessarily motivated by physical want. Pride is a metaphor applied to the lion; it is a deadly reality when applied to a human, as much a part of a man as his blood type.

Wrestling with Sunday Mornings

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This past Saturday afternoon I warned my husband, “I’m not going to church tomorrow.” In the morning when he went off early to help with music for the service, I went for a walk, made bacon and eggs, sat by an open window, and read every single page of the New York Times.

Having Enough: Jacob, Esau, and the Great Books

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The year began not with Homer or Plato but with a book I had actually heard of—the Book of Genesis. Our professors urged us to read it not as the infallible voice of truth, a literal account of science and history. Nor did they present it as a mere anthropological artifact, reflecting the biases of its authors and nothing more. They were introducing the idea of a great book, a text that yields up riches to both trained scholars and attentive novices.

Bullets in My House

Eyes II (2)

How can I say what happened next without sounding fake? Our house was shot. Hit by bullets. The noise of gunfire was suddenly present, live, loud, in my living room. Instinctively I rolled off the couch onto the floor and nearly crushed my computer. My wife appeared from the hall.

Poets and Pope Embrace our Planet

PLATE 9. Adrian Wiszniewski. Café Murals, Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, 1996.

Let’s just take some of the poets in the special issue of Image (#85) on “Evolution and the Imago Dei.” (And since Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Sì came out nearly the same time as Image, I hear the Pope conversing with the poets.)

The Mystery and Terror of Retirement

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The day after I let my wife know that we had enough money to pay for our son’s college education—he was a sophomore at Carolina at the time—, she let me know she had decided to retire in the fall. Our daughter was pregnant. The baby was due in November. After retiring at the end of October, my wife would head to New York to be with our daughter for the final weeks of the pregnancy and the first weeks in the life of our first grandchild.

The Horseshoe Crab’s Evolutionary Success

horseshoe crab

Horseshoe crabs are not on anyone’s list of favorite animals. Looking like slow-moving tanks, they hit the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean in late spring to spawn. The only thing about them that might be perceived as warm and fuzzy, garnering them a spot on the favorite animals list, is that they breed at twilight surrounded by soft sand and the sound of the surf. Thus they have done for 450 million years, evolving so slowly that a modern horseshoe crab is nearly the spitting image of a fossilized one.

Dear Patheos


Dear Patheos:
I hope you guys are doing well. I’ve been meaning to drop you a line and I’ve finally got around to it.

A Boy, a Wren, and the Kingdom


By Tony Woodlief The little boy moves amongst his creation in the sand: a montage drawn with a stick, with fingers, with his heel dragged before him as he hobbles backwards. Amidst its various pictures are small mosaics of driftwood and shell, all of it held together by whatever artistic vision fires the imagination of…

Image’s Daily Blog

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.


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