Mystery and myth in the margins

Mystery and myth in the margins

What’s the biggest effect the internet has had on writing? It’s a question that gets asked a lot in literary circles. Answers have included an exponential increase in narcissism, the erosion of grammatical standards, and the overall decline of Western civilization. For my money, the most transformative effect has been much more specific, and seemingly banal. In a word: paragraphs.

Just farming

Just farming

Amish people are often looked upon as quaint cultural curiosities by those of us who are, well, not Amish. The idea of a horse and buggy on a country road makes for a fuzzy feeling. It is tempting to think something like this: “Is it just wonderful that some people still live in this old-fashioned way?” Or to remark, “I’ve heard that they hire people with tractors, but won’t own one. And some of them have propane refrigerators but won’t have electric ones; quite inconsistent.” We condescend to what we don’t understand.

Heartfelt heroics

Heartfelt heroics

Five minutes into The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and characters are already acting stupidly. Or at least not acting how you or I might act, were we placed in a similar situation. There’s this scientist on a plane, secreting away some high-clearance research data on his laptop. The plane is hijacked, but the scientist is able to overcome his attacker, and get back to securing the data. The hijacker wasn’t subdued enough, of course – no handcuffs, no incapacitating blow to the noggin – and he springs back up, attacking our beleaguered scientist. Chaos ensues.

This is our Story
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This is our Story

No, the New Jerusalem,
that better city that we seek,
that city of refuge,
that city of safety and hospitality,
that city of justice and restoration,
that restored city of shalom,
that city where God will dwell,
is a city built on the foundations of suffering love,
or it is not built at all.