Bleak House

We are in the midst of a Victorian novel fest around here. Both daughters have been listening to Jane Austen (just a little earlier than the Victorians, but close enough) — Emma and Pride and Prejudice, courtesy of Librivox — and I have been rereading Dickens’ Bleak House, said by many critics to be his

Religious Age

This is a post from some time ago — October 2014. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder, I suppose waiting for refinement. But I’m going to go ahead and publish it as is. ——————– Someone should do a study of comment threads. Lately, for some inexplicable reason, I’ve actually been scrolling down to look

WWJD and the Myth of a Christian Nation

A thoughtful reader emailed me recently regarding my post entitled “Quandary.” The reader brought up the question of what Jesus would do in the present election. As it was already a subject revolving in my mind, I decided to get some thoughts down here. The problem with “WWJD” thinking is that it often simply evolves


Richard Swenson’s Contentment: The Secret to a Lasting Calm was recommended on a blog several years ago (I don’t remember which one!). I started reading it then, but it didn’t “take.” Recently I picked it up again, and this time I completed it. I have mixed feelings about this book. The up side is that


Who does a Christian vote for in this election? The two major party candidates seem desperately inadequate in both character and policy. I have been registered as a Republican for years, but the day after the nominee seemed determined, I changed to Independent. I’ve thought about it for some time, given how little real difference


I’ve had a great experience reading this little book by John Eldredge aloud to my two daughters. Epic: The Story God is Telling and the Role that is Yours to Play takes up the question of why the most popular books and movies move us so deeply. Its answer? They follow the same pattern as

My Name is Asher Lev

I’m not sure when I last read Chaim Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev. It is filed under “all time favorites” in my internal library. Thinking it might be an interesting read for one of my children with an artistic talent, I decided to reread it along with her so that we could talk about

Links to Think About

I have been striking out in my recent reading efforts. I tried Ethan Canin’s Doubter’s Almanac and gave up quickly because it was unexpectedly tawdry. I tried Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of Western Science and felt bored. I’m plugging along with R.C. Sproul’s Who is Jesus? and just started Edward Rutherfurd’s Sarum — which, if

Bartleby the Scrivener

Have you ever read this? Herman Melville’s enigmatic tale about a law scrivener who comes to an office on Wall Street was part of an American lit class in college. I loved this puzzling, bleak story about the law copyist, his employer, and the inscrutable sentence that makes up almost Bartleby’s entire vocabulary: “I would

Foundations and Faultlines

I don’t watch many movies, but amazingly, this week I have watched two. The first, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), was recommended for the week in my daughter’s government curriculum. The second, Bridge of Spies (2015), arrived courtesy of Netflix. I enjoyed both movies and was struck by how both, in their different eras,