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Practicing Presence, Part 2

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The following two-part post was originally delivered as the 2017 commencement address for Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. Read yesterday’s installment here. As you graduates well know, one of the most popular genres in books these days is the dystopia. Dystopia can be a powerful and revelatory form of writing, one that prophetically criticizes harmful…

Practicing Presence, Part 1

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The following two-part post was originally delivered as the 2017 commencement address for Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. Thank you for the high honor of inviting me to speak on this special occasion. My heartfelt congratulations to you graduating seniors for having reached this important milestone in your lives. Given the deep and demanding curriculum…

Poetry Friday: “Japanese Wall Hanging”

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black and white image of a heron in midflight, wings floating above them

I find myself reading this poem both literally and as a metaphor for our lives. On the literal level, Moira Linehan focuses with intensely loving detail on the Japanese brush painter. The first four lines list with tender concern all the things that might go wrong in the painting process. The next five lines move…

Courting Babel

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This month I thought it would be a good idea to take four hours of Arabic every week and an intensive JavaScript course all while working full-time. I was nervous about the Arabic, scared that I wouldn’t remember how to read or speak politely after three years away from formal lessons, but strangely, it came…

A Conversation with Lauren Winner, Part 2

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Continued from yesterday. This post originally appeared as a web-exclusive feature accompanying Image issue 84. Each chapter of Lauren F. Winner’s book, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God (HarperOne), explores a single biblical image of God through a mix of exegesis, cultural history, and personal essay. I asked Winner about her…

A Conversation with Lauren Winner, Part 1

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This post originally appeared as a web-exclusive feature accompanying Image issue 84. Each chapter of Lauren F. Winner’s book, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God (HarperOne), explores a single biblical image of God through a mix of exegesis, cultural history, and personal essay. The chapter excerpted in issue 84 is about bread. I…

Reading Love Nailed to the Doorpost

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If you want to be submerged in the depths of Jewish spirituality, this is the book to read: Love Nailed to the Doorpost, by Richard Chess. No, not “read”: at least not “read” in the way you would read an email or a newspaper or a novel. The poems and prose-poems collected in this book…

Poetry Friday: “Prayer”

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I used to collect poems that are prayers, so Sharon Cumberland’s “Prayer” immediately leapt out at me from the pages if Image. Leapt out—but then instantly grabbed me uncomfortably in the opening line: “Ignore, O Mystery, this thing You made.” The speaker’s plea to God is not for connection but for separation. Why? Because, as…

A Prayer for Kendrick Lamar

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It occurs to me each time I listen to Kendrick Lamar’s new album, Damn: The award winning and much celebrated rapper laments over and over that he feels like nobody’s praying for him. It’s his greatest fear. I’m not sure you can listen casually to a Lamar album. Each song demands attention to every word.…

The Beauty Dialogues, Part 7

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Today philosophy professor Santiago Ramos steps in with the last word (we think) of “The Beauty Dialogues,” a periodic exchange between Image contributor Morgan Meis and Image founder Gregory Wolfe. For a while now I have borne the fearful hunch that sooner or later, Image would have to confront Immanuel Kant. A journal whose reason…

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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