Companion books
Media & Culture | Reviews

Companion books

While most people can relate to the idea that a book can be a companion, books can also act as companions to one another. In my role as a vice principal last fall, I observed an eighth grade teacher leading a study of a verse-novel that begins in war-torn Vietnam called Inside Out and Back…

Taking the long view
Arts & Culture | Reviews

Taking the long view

The title suggests a guide to the worthy books of the past, but it is actually Alan Jacobs’ argument for why we should assign any worth to such books. The necessity of his argument, Jacobs explains, is a modern mindset that is overloaded with information, experiencing change at a rapid pace, and inundated with the…

Buckle up!
Arts & Culture | Reviews

Buckle up!

Justin Trudeau is currently promoting an app for my phone that will notify me if I’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. My iPhone is flipping on the microphone every so often to listen in – or maybe it isn’t – you can ask Siri. I’ll be going home soon…

Reframing a Famous Mission Story for the 21st Century
Arts & Culture | Reviews

Reframing a Famous Mission Story for the 21st Century

Joan Thomas’ Five Wives frames a shocking true story of five young American missionaries killed in January 1956 by native tribesmen in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. A photojournalist for Life magazine was allowed to join the American rescue mission dispatched to find the missing missionaries. His photos of bodies scattered over a jungle landscape, and of the five…

Scaling the Big Me
Arts & Culture | Reviews

Scaling the Big Me

Do you dismiss as a hypocrite a public intellectual who divorced his wife of 27 years and married his much younger research assistant while writing a book called The Road to Character? Or do you buy his next book to see what he has learned through such public scandal, assuming a person is more than their…

A Careful Critique
Arts & Culture | Politics | Reviews

A Careful Critique

Flags at the front of churches and Bibles waving at political rallies are common place in the United States, and two thirds of Americans agree with the statement “America is a Christian nation” (according to a 2013 poll). That level of fusion between love of God and love of country, however, does not explain why many, in the name of Christ, reject non-white immigrants, refuse to recognize racial injustice in spite of overwhelming evidence, oppose equality for women, defend gun culture, and excuse killing civilians…