• The Faerie Queene is an epic poem written by Edmund Spenser in the late 1500s. This pioneering work of world-building inspired writers like William Wordsworth, John Milton, James Thomson, Alfred Tennyson, John K […]

  • When I was eleven, I enrolled in a five-week kids program at the University of Louisville. One class featured a new role-playing game that was sweeping America: Dungeons and Dragons. I was both fascinated and […]

    • I love this so much! As a DM to a little local group of six, thanks for this, Rebecca. What a lovely encouragement. 

    • One of my favorite posts on this site in quite some time. Love the angle and the imagination here. Wonderful!

    • I love this! I have been telling my friends (the ones not already playing) how everyone should play DnD at least once. I liked your attention to the Dungeon Master’s role and how it has to constantly move with what is given. I personally think every small group leader could benefit from being a dungeon master at least once in their life (a small group seems to function with a lot of the same principles/goals as a campaign). So glad to see a piece about this form of storytelling with friends! Thank you, reading this made my day!

    • Thank you for your refreshing and insightful perspective. I’ve been a  talmid of Yeshua for 51 years and a gamer for 45 and have heard it all–from Satanic Panic condemnation to Player Partisan zealotry. As a follower of the Way, I have defended my interest to both Christian and non-Christian alike. So much of what you say resonates with me. I have always felt gaming to be a legitimate and genuine artistic expression, one I have shared with a special group of friends for most of my life. The act of communal creation at our table, the genuine camaraderie; the joy and laughter; the tears and sympathy; the ongoing discussions of morality, ethics, and the nature of good and evil–some of which would rival any theologic debate or university colloquia–that might not have otherwise happened are pure treasure. I especially appreciate your observations on the importance of context and how gaming is an echo the tale-telling of old. As an art, I am fascinated by gaming’s unique social contract and its unspoken agreement to cooperatively create a communal narrative. Indeed, the creation of liminal space through which the artist generously and with vulnerability invites the audience to move from observer to direct creative participant is singular. I cannot resist observing how that paradigm seems to faintly (albeit very imperfectly) echo the amazing Garden paradigm and intended partnership extended by Adonai to His imagers in the evolvement of His “good” world. I apologize for going on so, but your perspective on this subject is rare and thought provoking. Once again, thank you.

    • One of my favorite Hutchmoot memories ever is hiding in a church classroom with the Hittles and Lisa and Jonny and Rich and playing D&D for the first/only time. (Narnia themed. I was a mouse bard.)This is delightful and waking up a longing to play again. Thanks Rebecca.

  • One of the most brilliant aspects of The Faerie Queene also makes this work inaccessible to most modern readers. For approximately 35,000 lines, Spenser writes in verse (tight poetic form).

    Because I’m a r […]

  • It’s mid-July and unusually hot for Oxford. Sweat rolls down your spine, and your feet are on fire. Half a block down, you see an indie bookshop. No air conditioning, but they have a basement.

    Eighteen s […]

    • Yes! The Faerie Queene is one of my all-time favorites. I’m mighty glad you’re doing this. And transposition…I’m so glad you hit on that word instead of “translation.” I was worried about that.

    • This makes me excited. Especially because my favorite young weirdo will be right in that sweet spot when it’s finished.

    • I’m in! Sounds like an epic worth reading!

    • I’ve loved The Faerie Queene since discovering it in college so many moons ago. But I confess to feeling a little bit miffed that I can’t get away with sneaking into The Order of the Red Cross…

  • The weird thing is, I’ve never liked U2. From the few short clips I’d seen, Bono seemed arrogant and intentionally obtuse. Pictures of U2 concerts felt too big and too flashy to be sincere. I didn’t like how u […]

    • Whew. This really spoke to me this morning. Thanks for these thoughts; I’ve has a similar journey with Bono.

    • I was a U2 from 1999 to 2015 – probably to an unhealthy level. I studied the music, analyzed the lyrics, found the touchstones of those lyrics in Scripture, memorized The Edge’s gear settings (down to how many milleseconds of delay for most of their songs – Streets? 354. Bad? About 437 for the main delay – there’s a second in series . . . and on and on . . .). I loved going to their shows, and I attended them all over the U.S: Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Nashville, Had tickets to Hawaii before Edge’s daughter got sick and they cancelled). I bought the books on Bono’s faith . . . I collected pastors’ sermon notes that incorporated U2’s lyrics. I did it all, even though I didn’t always agree with the more pronounced of U2’s political views.

      Then, in 2015, while at one of their Chicago shows at the United Center. That all came to a a screeching halt.

      Instead of U2 bending toward using their music to echo the Gospel (if not directly preach it), they took a huge negative turn and decided to trade truth for “love” (or, rather, what they perceived “love” to be). Right there, in the middle of the concert during “Pride” (a song that depicts Christ’s persecution and resurrection through the lyrics “One Man caught on a barbed wire fence / One Man he resist/ one man washed up on an empty beach/ one man betrayed with a kiss”) , Bono took a rainbow flag from someone in the crowd, wrapped himself in it, and declared to the audience “Gay Pride In the Name of Love”. Then, at the end of ‘Beautiful Day’, he pontificated that “[Ireland] did something very important . . . more people turned out to vote for marriage (sic) equality than turned out for anything before . . . This song goes out to . . . two beautiful girls who made their vows here in Chicago . . . this is for you.” He then went on to declare that if love wasn’t equal for all kinds of relationships, it wasn’t actually love.

      It broke my heart. Corruptio Optima Pessima.

    • @Rockne,

      Thanks for the comment. That’s a fair protest. But we can also disagree with Bono (and anyone else) on any number of things and still appreciate and laud them when they tell the truth well. Bono loves Christ and we agree on much more than we may disagree. That’s what we’re choosing to focus on here.

    • I’m a little late to this conversation, but I just came across this 8 minute clip from NPR’s American Anthem series, where they take an iconic American song and analyze it, along with its social and cultural impact on the country: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/26/743620996/u2-i-still-havent-found-what-im-looking-for-american-anthem.

  • I wrote this post before starting to read Mark Meynell’s book A Wilderness of Mirrors. Now I wish I had another six months to process what I’m learning so that I could integrate his wisdom here. After reading his […]

    • 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.

  • I remember what it was like to want a baby.

    I remember how it felt to walk through the grocery store
    watching others dispose so recklessly
    of everything I ached to be.

    I remember mothers
    (or so-called […]

    • I have blessed with two little boys who call me “Mommy.” But this year on Mother’s Day, I thought about all of my students (I work with struggling readers in middle school) and the ways I have mothered them, long before I held a baby. This year I got a note from a girl thanking me for being “the mother she never had.” And it reminded me that I am accountable as a mother to so many, not just two little boys.

    • 😭😭😭
      This is beautiful.

  • If you haven’t seen Endgame, stop reading now. I’ll try not to post any spoilers until I get a few paragraphs deep, but I am eventually going to drop a few. Consider yourselves forewarned.

    So, I loved End […]

    • My goodness. Thank you, RR.

    • RR, by which I mean, “Rebecca Reynolds.” And, come to think of it, “The Rabbit Room,” too.

    • Saying “well said” is a massive understatement. Thank you for pointing out how we as a human race elevate our virtue as an end in and of itself, but God is still on the throne and He alone is worthy. Thanos of the story doesn’t represent our Lord, but is more of a representation of our own self righteousness paired with power.

    • I have chills. And I feel like I just read holy ground, if such a thing is possible. Thank you for writing and sharing this, Rebecca!

    • When you called Shazam one of your all time favorite superhero movies, I almost stopped reading! But I’m so glad I knew you well enough to read on.
      Thank you for diving deeper and being unsatisfied with less. Keep sharing! You are doing better and better at capturing the deep. For those of us who sense it but cannot put words to it, you are a great blessing.

    • Oh. I want to print out a stack of this and hand it out to everyone leaving a showing of Endgame. That a movie based on comic books can call forth something like this, I will be forever grateful.

    • “…who spread a glove full of Infinity stones wide and allowed humanity drive a hard stake right through it.” That is the crux. Well put. Much the same point as is fleshed out in “The Long Silence.”

    • My goodness, how did you put that so clearly?! Yes, yes, yes. Yes. God is the power of Thanos (only more) and the heart of the Avengers (only better). Thank you a lot.

  • Jonathan Rogers was one of my favorite writers long before I received his writing help through an early online class. When looking for a coach for Courage Dear Heart, I knew he would be clear and solid. I’m so t […]

    • Really excellent post, thank you. While I don’t necessarily consider myself a writer, I read The Habit every week and love the grace, wit, and gentle instruction that is reflected in every word.
      And I’m just waiting for a book all about alligators.

    • the first comment was posted an hour into the future. at least for me… spooky… great post, love jonathan rogers. not very many authors talk about the importance of correct grammar they kind of just expect other writers to have it. not him. can’t wait to see what he has for us..
      but I will probably just check out the free stuff. I’m not in the whole full time job thing yet.

    • That’s a wonderful interview, thanks to BOTH heartbreakingly-brilliant writers. It goes a long way to showing why we all politely ignore the alligator thing: Jonathan is just giving so much of himself to the writing community. (Peter Bannister, though…I’ll have to pray through that one.)
      I would encourage anyone to come join us at the stately pleasure-dome. The caverns of knowledge aren’t quite measureless but are already extensive, and Jonathan’s tirelessly adding to them.

    • Aaron Roughton is a proud Three Percenter.

    • Who’s there?

    • Loved this interview! I have gotten so much from The Habit and now Field Notes. Both feel like real gift. Grateful for Jonathan’s generosity!

  • I grew up in a home with scientists, so when a parent would ask me to run and get a container of Cool Whip out of the chest freezer, finding the right tub would usually take three or four tries. I might find owl […]

  • I was fourteen, walking into the gym for my first day of high school summer basketball camp. Switching from a small, Catholic middle school to a huge county high school was terrifying, so the night before I had […]

    • “Mass felt like wandering into Lothlorien…”

      Having grown up with the Roman Catholic liturgy, that’s the very thing I miss after two decades of “contemporary” worship in Protestant churches.

    • Beautiful.

    • I read this last night and before I even had a chance to process it, I fell back on my bed and thought, “God, thank you for Rebecca Reynolds.” All three parts of “You Holy Fools” have held so much meaning for me and everyone I’ve shared them with.

    • When I finished reading this last night, the first thing I did was fall back on my bed and think, “God, thank you for Rebecca Reynolds.” The “You Holy Fools” essays have held so much meaning for me and everyone I’ve shared them with.

    • I’m so encouraged! You put words to thoughts that have been in my head for years. Thank you.

  • You know, the first time I read your writing, I thought, “Who is this magical person?” I didn’t know there was such a thing as a real, live Jennifer Trafton out in the world.

    After the insanity of the past few months, I find this post as healing as Lucy’s cordial. I could read it twenty times and come more and more alive, more and more awake…[Read more]

  • “Priest” sorry. Typing in a closet and hurrying. Haven’t had the chance to read everybody else’s thoughts yet, but I will soon. And I might be wrong, this is just how the film struck me.

  • I thought the most beautiful example of redemption in the film was through the figure of Kichijiro.


    When I think about Japanese culture and its value on honor, I am stunned that Scorsese (Endo?) chose a character defined by shame and cowardice to be the primary vehicle for communicating resurrection.


    At the beginning of the film,…[Read more]

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