Poetry, Literature, and Book Reviews


“Christ’s Nativity” by Henry Vaughan

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing! It is the birth-day of thy King. Awake! awake! The Sun doth shake Light from his locks, and all the way Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.  Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings; Winds whisper, and the busy springs A concert make; Awake! awake! Man is their high-priest, and should rise To offer up the sacrifice.  I…

My 10 Favorite Books this Year (2022)

Reading is a sweet gift. And while I always feel like I am in a serious “book debt” (always more books to read than I have time), it is fun to look back and reflect on what my favorite reads were from the last year. These are not limited to books that were published in…

“The Agony” by George Herbert

Jesus holds out a cup towards us and says, “Taste this blessing.” Yet, when the cup comes around to Jesus, there is no blessing, there is only wrath.

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

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…

Art Explained: Crucifixion

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…

“When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” by John Milton

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?” …

Entertaining Ourselves to Death: The Supersensorium

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…

What’s the Point of Beauty?

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…

“Good Friday” by Christina Rossetti

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…

“Love (III)” by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back                             Guilty of dust and sin.But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack                             From my first entrance in,Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,…

10 Tips to Become a Better Reader

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,…

Why The Brothers Karamazov Is Worth Reading

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,…

My 10 Favorite Books This Year (2021)

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…

Book Review: Deacons

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…

Bavinck on the Gift of Art

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…

Review: 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity

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…

Review: Men and Women in the Church

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…

Full Circle (Poem)

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…

Are You Not Thirsty?

“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…

When We Wish God Loved Us Less – CS Lewis

“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…

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