We were delighted to feature Caitlin Ambery’s painting, “Christmas at the Old Quick Church” alongside Malcolm Guite’s poem “Christmas on the Edge” in our 2019 Christmas print issue. Cathy Smith muses on the painting, “Christmas at the Old Quick Church”: Here’s a church at the edge. Nothing around it, no other buildings. All by itself…
Seventy-five years of Christian Courier (and predecessors) is an astonishingly unlikely achievement. The little engine that could. A survivor. I’m more than a little proud of having been a small part of its history, more than a little proud that my words – as an elementary student, a high school student, a young teacher, a retired teacher,…
A collective loss. I honour Bert Witvoet for his encouragement both as a writer and editor. He stuck with me when I was very ill with depression. He once took Betsey and me to a sight-seeing tour of the Niagara Peninsula, dropped us off in a drenching downpour at the railing overlooking Niagara Falls, and came back to pick us up . . . eventually. Some honeymoon. Our world is poorer for his absence.
“It’s exhilarating and consoling to read a book in which the lustre of the Christian faith is revealed with such sympathetic polish and God’s sovereignty delineated with such gravitas,” I wrote in my 2015 CC review of Marilynne Robinson’s Lila. Lila gets the “last say,” I asserted boldly. I was wrong. Not the first time. At the 2018 Wheaton Theology Conference Marilynne Robinson announced a fourth installment of her Gilead series. One presenter, Tiffany Eberle Kriner, confessed something kindred to my own glee: “I have, I admit without shame, made the author’s ability to complete a fourth Gilead novel a subject of personal prayer.”
In 1954 my patents immigrated to Canada with $60 in my dad’s wallet. Their Christmas traditions probably stemmed from frugality as much as from faith. But when I had children of my own, I embraced their practices, not merely for nostalgia’s sake, but for the ways in which they cultivated both piety and generosity. For example, we exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve, something our neighbours found odd.
Barbara Crooker’s newest work, The Book of Kells, braves overtly Christian topics and fresh poetic forms with the confidence that comes from a sure and supple imagination. Meditating on the medieval manuscript, a treasure of Christian iconography, Crooker excavates ancient truths that provoke our modern sensibility.
Quick! You get to meet a living legend! Who will it be? Sidney Crosby? Pope Francis? Today I’d pick Marilynne Robinson, but in my 20s it would have been Richard Adams, whose bestselling, 1974 novel Watership Down was recently adapted into a miniseries on Netflix.
Katie Munnik’s first novel is a compelling debut. Spanning wilderness settings from Scotland to Canada, the narrative laces the history of three generations of women, exploring motherhood from WWII to the present.
If Thea could read this, she’d object. She’d laugh and tell me that our friendship was mutual; I brought things to her life, too. She was completely humble that way. She’d be the first to deflect attention from herself and point out that whatever talents and energy we have, we must use them to Creator God’s glory and for our neighbours’ benefit.
From the front of the church I see my family sitting around the table together. I pass the bread and wine. I belong.
Leyland Fields’ voyage is the catalyst for novel insights into discipleship, insights drawn especially from her working life on the waves. Her visit to the Jordan River crystallizes the book’s theme: “What is the power of this water and this place? Who is this man Jesus?”
The Confessions of X by Suzanne Wolfe, CT’s 2017 Book of the Year in the fiction category, taps into Augustine’s influence from an altogether different perspective, one narrated by his anonymous concubine, the woman “torn from my side,” whom he dearly loved.