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Reading the Eternities

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“Read not the Times, read the eternities,” Thoreau advised. The 2011 Arts & Faith Top 100 Films, released shortly prior to the 83rd Academy Awards, won’t make the headlines of the Times—but if you prefer to scrutinize the eternities, you might want to skip the Oscars and check out the Arts & Faith Top 100.…

Grapes of Wrath

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As I wrote last year, I know that a novel has me hooked when I start praying for the characters. And such it was again with my recent return to John Steinbeck’s classic novel of the Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939. My husband and I listened to the CD of the…

Battle of the Bands

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Back when garage bands actually used to practice in garages, my local swimming pool sponsored Battle of the Bands nights. Sixteen-year-old boys with hair hanging down in their eyes used to flail away on their guitars, spurred on by visions of appearing on Shindig or American Bandstand, or, failing that, winning the adulation of a…

Hunting Good Will

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I have found it hard to do good. Oftentimes, I’m unsure of what the good would be, so cannot bring it about. Then at other times, I know what it is, but don’t want to do it especially. The best I can say is that, for the most part, I want to want what is…

The Prosperity of the City

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When my husband and I moved from San Francisco to Salt Lake City, we told ourselves and our appalled friends that we’d give it two years. Two years to ascertain whether we could survive summer heat, winter snow, being inland, minimal sources of good Chinese food, and a total absence of Mission-style burritos. And what…

Staying Where I Am

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The other night, I got home from my writers’ group feeling jazzed. After struggling with a story revision, I’d decided to show them something different, twenty-five pages of new nonfiction. “I loved it,” they said, and “This is what you should be writing.” Comments and questions, too, but in general a big thumbs-up. I dropped…

He Shall Be a Light

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On the day after Thanksgiving my dad would disappear into the attic while I waited at the foot of the ladder for him to bring them down. One by one, I wiped the dust from their crowns. We had the full set in faded plastic, melted in spots from summer storage in the Louisiana heat:…

He Shall Be a Light

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On the day after Thanksgiving my dad would disappear into the attic while I waited at the foot of the ladder for him to bring them down. One by one, I wiped the dust from their crowns. We had the full set in faded plastic, melted in spots from summer storage in the Louisiana heat:…

How I Accidentally Wrote a Book About Listening to Christian Rock

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This post is adapted from the introduction to Joel’s new book, Sects, Love, Rock and Roll, available now from Cascade Books. I tried not to write a book about Christian rock. I tried fiction, but gave up after a teacher couldn’t get me to fix the ending to the story where a seventeen-year-old kid loses…

Dawn Treader: Off Course and Adrift

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader—Walden Media’s third Narnia movie—portrays one of the fiercest battles you’re ever likely to see at the movies. I’m not talking about blades and arrows (although even C. S. Lewis would be alarmed at how much violence occurs in big-screen Narnia). No, I’m talking about wars…

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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