Out of the night that covers me,Black as the pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may beFor my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstanceI have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chanceMy head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tearsLooms but the Horror of the … Continue reading “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley
The painting below, Charles Lutyen’s Crucifixion, is one of the more jarring depictions of the death of Christ. The fear, pain, and utter bewilderment are powerfully etched on the faces of the mourners at Christ’s feet. Not only are they witnessing the death of who they thought was their Messiah, but they are witnessing the death of … Continue reading Art Explained: Crucifixion
When I consider how my light is spent, Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one Talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bentTo serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide; “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?” … Continue reading “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” by John Milton
Does Art still matter today? In the vast tubes of the internet, I stumbled across this incredibly thought-provoking long-form essay, “Enter the Supersensorium: The Neuroscientific Case for Art in the Age of Netflix” by neuroscientist Erik Hoel. It is just over 7,000 words (about a 45-minute read), and wades into some dense neuroscientific jungles (gamma-aminobutyric … Continue reading Entertaining Ourselves to Death: The Supersensorium
Art, beauty, aesthetics–these do not provide much for us in the way of utility and functionality, at least if we are thinking of those terms in their strictest of definitions. And yet, God seems to have filled our world with an abundance of beauty. We are naturally drawn to create art, to order our world … Continue reading What’s the Point of Beauty?
Am I a stone, and not a sheep,That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,To number drop by drop Thy blood’s slow loss,And yet not weep? Not so those women lovedWho with exceeding grief lamented Thee;Not so fallen Peter, weeping bitterly;Not so the thief was moved; Not so the Sun and MoonWhich hid their … Continue reading “Good Friday” by Christina Rossetti
When I was younger, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies were releasing, and I remember someone recommending that I should try to read the books because they were far better. I (much to my later chagrin) responded, “Why read a book when you could just watch a movie?” For shame. For shame. If you know me now, … Continue reading 10 Tips to Become a Better Reader
Why Reading Brothers is Hard The Brothers Karamazov can be an intimidating book to read. Dostoevsky’s writing can seem strange at points. The explosive, dramatic, and perverse characters are jarring and often alienating; Dostoevsky’s penchant for describing pathetic and emotionally painful scenes is unsettling; and the labyrinthine story with the ever-shifting Russian names, dense monologues, … Continue reading Why The Brothers Karamazov Is Worth Reading
I’m always a sucker for “best books of the year” blogs (some of my favorites are here, here, and here). Below represents my favorite books I read this year. This is not limited to books that were published this year, but simply books I read this year. But before that a brief word on the … Continue reading My 10 Favorite Books This Year (2021)
Depending on what church you are a part of you might have very different perspectives on what a “deacon” is. Whatever your view is, if you are tempted to think that the role of deacons is something relatively yawn-worthy, something on par with organizing church yard sales or pointless committee meetings, Matt Smethurst would like … Continue reading Book Review: Deacons
Art…is a wonderful gift from God. Just as the Lord Himself is not truth and holiness alone but also glory, and one who spreads the beauty of His name abroad over all His works, so it is He, too, who by His Spirit equips the artists with wisdom and understanding and knowledge in all manner … Continue reading Bavinck on the Gift of Art
How will the church help Gen Z believe, understand, and defend the faith? How will they be able to make winsome apologetic arguments to an age group that has been shaped more by Instagram and TikTok than books or syllogisms, who find personal experience to be more persuasive than just about anything? Rebecca McLaughlin has … Continue reading Review: 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity
I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. – 1 Tim 2:15 Act like men, be strong. – 1 Cor 16:13 What does it mean to be a “man”? What does it mean to be a “woman”? When thinking about our culture’s … Continue reading Review: Men and Women in the Church
This is a poem written by a good friend of mine, nearly four years ago. The poem speaks of the tension of the “already/not yet” aspect of our sanctification. We are already raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6) and our glorification is certain (Rom. 8:30) – but we still struggle … Continue reading Full Circle (Poem)
“Are you not thirsty?” said the lion. “I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill. “Then drink,” said the lion. “May I- could I- would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill. The lion answered this only by a look and very low growl. As Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she … Continue reading Are You Not Thirsty?
“We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a … Continue reading When We Wish God Loved Us Less – CS Lewis
This is a short story from a wonderful little book about God’s personal, unconditional and irresistible love. It is a little hoaky in spots, but serves for illustrating the powerful point that God’s love doesn’t wait for us to ask for it – but overcomes our resistance to Him. God doesn’t wait for hard hearts to … Continue reading God’s Love is Stronger Than Our Hate
In C.S. Lewis’ wildly popular The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, there is a powerful allegory that Lewis employs to vividly depict the nature of sin. Edmund, one of the four Pevensie children, falls prey to an evil White Witch almost immediately upon entering Narnia. The Witch finds Edmund wandering in the forest … Continue reading Jesus is Sweeter Than Turkish Delight
Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurped town, to another due, Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end. Reason, … Continue reading “Holy Sonnet XIV” by John Donne
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