Good Letters

To Write


I find creative writing difficult. This is in contrast to my professional writing as a consultant, which I find, after twenty five years, relatively straightforward: if you’ve written one foundation report or federal grant, you’ve pretty much written them all. But real writing, as I think of it—including this blog—is another story. While I normally…

Any Second Now


Though I was born prematurely, I’ve begun to think that I was really born late, about ten years too late, because I was born with a love for films in which the most pressing issues are high school graduation and how to talk to girls, and consequently I missed all the best ones. This genre,…

Exodus 2048


The year is 2048 and the nation of Israel has all but collapsed in an overnight power vacuum brought about by the double-headed disaster that coincides with its centennial: a downward spiral in foreign aid from a much weakened America, combined with the demographic liability of an exploding Palestinian population, leaves the Jewish state ripe…

On Earth as it is in Heaven


Sharing cigarettes, two boys recline on a sun-baked rock high above their village. Here, close to heaven, they’re able to forget their troubles and enjoy the view. A gunshot jolts them from their reverie. Down among the technicolor trees, a hunter blasts at a bird with his rifle. He hits his mark, but then wanders…

Spiritus Mundi


Recently, I attended an “Eco-Christianity” class at an area congregation. It was not for me. The minister who led it was well-intentioned, trying to bring the sacred alive. A dozen or so of us attended the first meeting—a couple who ran an organic farm, an elderly woman, a therapist. It was cold in the spartan…

Receive My Memory


Take, Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me; to you, O Lord, I return it. All is yours; dispose of it as you will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is enough for me.…

All the Lonely Twelve Year-Olds


NOTE: The following (including the comment thread) contains spoilers about scenes in the film Let the Right One In. Blood on her lips, eyes wide with lust, Eli stares at Oskar and commands him to run. Oskar is confused. To seal a child’s contract of friendship—a “blood bond”—he’s carved open his hand with a knife.…

Flowing into the Delta


There’s a reason I’m not a journalist: It is quite possible that I have the worst “news judgment” ever. More than once, during those periods that I’ve actually done a few essays or reviews for news organizations, an editor has gently had to explain to me that you can’t really write about something once its…

In this Corner


Upon seeing Mickey Rourke as has-been mat star Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler, I became nostalgic. When I was a boy, you could get the TV wrestling matches from Memphis on Saturdays, wherein Jerry “The King” Lawler took on the likes of Tojo Yamamoto (managed by the dastardly Saul Wiengeroff). Me and my…

A Non-Christian Narnia?


Laura Miller announces her nonbelief right in the subtitle of her recently published The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia. And the explicit premise of her book is that an avowed non-Christian can love The Chronicles of Narnia despite their Christian sub-text. So I must confess that I opened Miller’s book with some skepticism…

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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