• For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.—Habakkuk 2:14

    A while back I finished reading The Worst Journey in the World, the account of the B […]

  • I just saw Jojo Rabbit for the first time a few days ago, so this post is finding me at the right moment. Thanks for holding up this complicated and thoughtful comedy for closer inspection, Steve. The way you related it back to the first-century church and “the new identity overflowing the banks of the old identity” … that’s great stuff.

  • Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes. Excellent review, John, of a book begging to be looked at long and intently and then lavishly described. Thank you once again to Helena and to the Rabbit Room for making this book happen. Years from now, 2020 won’t just be the year we lived through a pandemic – it’ll be the year we read The Door On Half-Bald Hill for the first time.

  • I’ve been feeling this too. Thank you Jen, for sharing encouragement with those of us who feel like we’re failing to be creative during this time when the conditions are supposedly perfect for it.

  • Last night after finding a bit of Old Toby reserved for just such a time as this, I packed my long-stemmed pipe and went outside. Then, amid the gathering dusk, beneath the distant calling of geese and the first star of evening, I sat and smoked and opened The Door on Half-Bald Hill.
    I’m very grateful you all gave us this early gift.

  • Agreed. In an age of Information Overload®, I now know considerably less after reading this, and am delighted to have a ready way to Clear Away Excess Knowledge®. I can’t wait to share this with my tonsil donkey.

  • I grew up in that looming shadow of the apocalypse too. As a kid, if my mom and my sister didn’t get home on time, I’d have to push down panic that they’d been whisked away, leaving me behind to eat my way through a seven-layer burrito of suffering and wrath. I don’t think I FULLY got out of that story and into a better one until I discovered the…[Read more]

  • I found out in college that I enjoyed writing and had the potential to be good at it. I spent the next 17 years not writing. I probably need this, and I’m glad you’re pressing on with it.

  • “Every now and then, a book comes along that rings all your bells, shivers all your timbers, winds your clock, melts your face, shakes your foundations, and smacks you upside the head to remind you that stories are altogether a form of magic—and if that’s true, if stories are magic, Helena Sorensen might as well be Gandalf.”

    I’m pretty sure I d…[Read more]

  • You people are killing me with your ravings about Helena’s new book. Hurry up and put that thing in my hands, or stop teasing me!
    Aside from that, this post is a diamond mine, I’m so glad y’all do this.
    @barberjo I still haven’t seen the Lighthouse. Take ME on a date.
    How was I not even aware Knives Out existed till now?
    Glad that The…[Read more]

  • The timing of this post feels a little uncanny. It was just two or three days ago I was musing on the original “Battle Hymn,” on these same concerns you laid out here. I’m not even sure what got me thinking about it, who knows when I even last heard that song, which I grew up with. But something brought it to mind, and for the first time I reali…[Read more]

  • I really appreciate you all who engaged with this post and took time to comment, and am heartened for those who have found something in it worth taking away.

    @markanderson I’m glad you brought up Romans 8:20 – I think I had skimmed too quickly over the whole of that verse in the past… “For the creation was subjected to futility, not…[Read more]

  • Some time ago, a friend and I were discussing the sufferings of a mutual acquaintance, which include a major car wreck that occurred several years back. A drunk driver had barreled his semi truck into, over, and […]

    • “He creates a world into which suffering will be birthed by sin and the cosmic weight of that suffering will be borne by Himself. It’s the last half of that statement that keeps such an answer from seeming trite and removed from our present pain. The suffering Christ makes sense of the senseless.” You hit the nail on the head. I find myself landing right there with you.

    • Amen Mr. Cyr!
      I have reminded myself of a similar thing before that bears repeating after reading this article;
      The Bible says that God is Love. It does not say that Love is God. If something about the Lord, or in your life, seems “unloving” to you then that’s because you’re starting with the second premise, the one the Bible does not say. If something seems loving to you, but God, in His word, has said it is sinful, then you are still starting from the second premise. The premise “God is Love” challenges me to search out the true nature of God so that I can truly know what love is, and that is my challenge to you as well.

    • Excellent. You ask the questions everyone has struggled with and you answer them beautifully. A pleasure to read.

    • Goodness Matthew, it’s as if someone took the words with which God has been answering my heart’s questions and wrote them out clear as day. It’s like you have the same Spirit in you too 😜 We know that light is so much brighter when our eyes are used to darkness, and we know that beauty stands out much farther when all we’ve know is brokenness, but it’s somehow deeper than that. It really is like the darkness increases our capacity for light, or our brokenness makes it so much more a better thing to be redeemed by Love. God takes just a simple contrast a step further and makes the one who has been forgiven much love much. I’ll never get over that.

    • I really appreciate you all who engaged with this post and took time to comment, and am heartened for those who have found something in it worth taking away.

      @markanderson I’m glad you brought up Romans 8:20 – I think I had skimmed too quickly over the whole of that verse in the past… “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

      Since writing this I’ve also been thinking about the blind man in John 9: ‘And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’ Christ says that the man’s impairment and suffering isn’t just a pointless result of sin and the curse, but has a goal and a purpose. God gave this man something broken specifically so He could fix it! He deliberately wrote blindness into his story, because He thought that this man knowing suffering and darkness, and then being made whole and brought into the light, made a better story than it would have been for the man to be sighted his whole life. And I think we can take as implied that it’s not just for God’s benefit, his glorification, that this is a better version of the man’s life, but that it’s better for the man himself too to have known lack and yearning and then restoration, and have something more to thank God for. All of that amazes me.

    • Thank you, Matthew, for sharing this. It is indeed thought-provoking and well written. You ask a hard question: “Why must we take such a long and rocky detour to endless Joy?”

  • I want to take a moment to recognize, in addition to this fantastic essay, the choice of photo to accompany it. Well done all around.

  • I remember reading that the only real difference between a grasshopper and a locust is behavior: that “locust” is just a term we use for grasshoppers that gather together in a swarm and devastate the land around them. If beliefs drive behavior, maybe the only difference between a grasshopper that trusts God to lead it forward into a land of…[Read more]

  • Kevan, I discovered this book when I was in college, just a couple years older than you were. Of course I knew about every line of the movie, just like everyone else, but hadn’t realized for a while that there was a real book that it came from. When I finally gave it a try, well, I was hooked from the first couple pages, and as you know there are…[Read more]

  • My mom went through a Riverdance phase when I was a kid, and I heard the cassette many times in the car as she drove me from wherever to wherever. I was pretty insensitive its beauties even at that should-be-tender age, but this particular song always held me for the duration. I didn’t know its name until now, and of course I still can’t follow…[Read more]

  • Yes, we’ll be at Hutchmoot – just two and a half months away! The thought makes me cackle and caper like Sméagol when he’s caught a fish. On the inside anyway. Will definitely catch you for that Ember conversation!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen this articulated and am so thankful you did, and did it perfectly. I too have always felt the need for this music, and have had to choose between songs of faith that speak the deep truth, and songs that acknowledge the full range of valid human emotion and response to such a world as this one. Mere melancholy is just…[Read more]

  • You just explained deconstructionism, recent evangelical history, and Ephesians 3 in a clear, helpful, and entertaining fashion – using Zelda. I formally invite you to write more books.

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