With Jerusalem and Jesus’ crucifixion at its center, the Hereford Map orients East at the top, England in the lower left, and monsters at the edges. Created around the year 1300, it depicts the history, geography, and destiny of the world according to medieval Christianity. A single sheet of vellum measuring 5’ 2” high by 4’ 4” wide displays its artistry. The original viewers were pilgrims to England’s Hereford Cathedral, some of whom made the pilgrimage annually. Hereford Cathedral still displays the map year round.
Lisa Deam holds a Ph.D. in medieval art from Chicago University. Attempting to maintain a scholarly eye while writing her dissertation on the Hereford Map, Deam discovered “that there was really no way to separate medieval art from medieval faith and spirituality — and from my own faith.” (1) The crossroads of Deam’s scholarly work and her Christian faith has resulted in, A World Transformed: Exploring the World of Medieval Spirituality. Continue reading Longing for Pilgrimage; #Review: A World Transformed, by Lisa Deam
Back in July, I edited my review of Skylar Hamilton Burris’ excellent book, When the Heart is Laid Bare, for Christ and Pop Culture. I should have posted it then, but here it is now.
One doesn’t expect to laugh while reading of tragedy, grief, and healing. And yet, that’s exactly what happened when I read Skylar Hamilton Burris’ When the Heart Is Laid Bare, which Double Edge Press has graciously made freely available to Christ and Pop Culture members. While grappling with death and suffering, Burris successfully weaves wit and humor into her story lines.
Read the rest.
My thin rectangular Clock sits on the carved shelf across the room, clicking its red digital numbers—red like blood. Today marks the first day of my last year alive.
This is part of the opening of A Time to Die, a work of dystopian Christian fiction by Nadine Brandes.
Nadine Brandes has accomplished what many authors attempt, but few succeed: causing me to expect one development, then delivering another. A few climactic scenes kept me truly uncertain as to the outcome. I’ll refrain from spoilers. However, I will say this: Dire outcomes are believable because main characters do experience wretched events. This book isn’t recommended for those squeamish about severe injuries and blood, though such events are rare. Their descriptions aren’t gratuitous or overly gruesome; they serve a purpose within the narrative.
Read the whole review at BreakPoint.
I live in Idaho near Sun Valley Resort, where my husband and I ski all winter with our two children. On my first of many trips to Grand Targhee ski area, the white-out conditions common to the area disoriented me. Fearful of unknown terrain, I increased my vigilance to know where I was on the trails at all times.
Death in the Tetons: Eddie “Cola” Fitzgerald’s Last 24 Hours, by Susan Tatarsky, recounts the story of a man who didn’t maintain such awareness, with tragic results. From the book description:
The Teton Range, located in the Rocky Mountains, is prone to sudden whiteout conditions that can disorient skiers enough that they lose their way. To help prevent this, ski resorts have clearly labeled trails, and the region boasts two separate Search and Rescue organizations plus the Grand Targhee Ski Patrol.
None of these helped Eddie “Cola” Fitzgerald in the last hours of his life. ….
Based on the true story of Eddie Fitzgerald’s death, Death in the Tetons is a retelling that includes facts and actual legal depositions by those involved—all of which reveal the tragic sequence of events that robbed a man of his life.
In August 2010, my local paper published news of the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Fitzgerald family against Search and Rescue, et. al. I wondered then if the plaintiff understood the dangers of the large snowfalls Targhee receives, or if they comprehended the vastness of the surrounding rugged terrain. Throughout Death in the Tetons, many passages indicate that winter dangers in the Rockies are not fully understood by the plaintiff or the author. Continue reading Review: Death in the Tetons
Having little interest in zombies, I know nothing of the popular apocalyptic genre. However, C. T. Casberg, author of Genesis of the Dead, makes the case that zombies are of interest to God.
Think about it. Who are the living dead? Sin entered in, the fruit was eaten, and humanity died. But we’re still walking around. We are the living dead!
That’s why Casberg decided to turn the Old Testament into a Young Adult zombie-apocalypse comedy—the first in a trilogy—and decidedly pulls it off.
Read the whole review at BreakPoint.
[Expert from my review published in the Featured Articles at BreakPoint.org.]
Vehicles of Grace
As a parent of two children, I often wondered during the days of nurturing infants, toddlers, and young children what was being accomplished in my own life. It is hard to fathom that one is learning anything while wrestling, yet again, a kicking, screaming, angry baby in order to change his or her poopy diaper. Yet during one of these wrestling matches, I had an epiphany. “I do this to you, Father, don’t I? I kick and scream and am angry at you while you are simply cleaning me up.”
I remembered those days while reading Amy Julia Becker’s new book, Small Talk: Learning from My Children about What Matters Most. The book caused me to remember how good things can emerge from the hard but ordinary everyday moments.
Amy Julia Becker is perhaps best known for her articles about family life and Down syndrome at Christianity Today, the New York Times, and other outlets. In “Small Talk,” she invites readers even further into her life as a parent. Rather than a how-to or an advice book, Becker has penned a memoir to encourage and support others traveling the same path. She conveys great truths with brevity and poignancy. Using words that are seemingly simple, Becker crafts a narrative that is simply elegant.
Read the rest of the review at BreakPoint. org.
The Day I Met Jesus, by Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth launches today! And here is my full review as promised.
The short version: The Day I Met Jesus is 50% off today. Buy this book. Read. Weep. Internalize.
Click on the image to read the first chapter for free:
The longer version:
Continue reading Review: The Day I Met Jesus
Hannah More enjoyed a brilliant literary career among the London literati in the late 1700’s, was an equal among William Wilberforce’s cohorts in ending the British slave trade, and brought to fruition what the Protestant Reformation boldly stated in theory: in order to understand the Scriptures, all should learn to read. So why is it that her poems, essays, pamphlets, and fiction as well as her pioneering work in education are little known today? In part it is due to her immediate friends; in part it is due to her subsequent enemies, states Karen Swallow Prior in her biography Fierce Convictions: the Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist.
Continue reading Review #FierceConvictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More–Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
How often do you expect to laugh while reading a work of fiction dealing with death, grieving, and moving on? In When the Heart is Laid Bare, Skylar Hamilton Burris pulls off the seeming impossible: finding wholesome, witty humor while looking for answers to life’s suffering.
From the back cover:
“Coach Calder Johnson’s wife has, according to the hospital social worker, expired. Expired. Like a credit card. Not like a human being. Calder hasn’t had a true friend, other than his wife, in twenty-four years. So if he’s going to heal, he’ll have to learn to let someone inside.
Continue reading Review: When the Heart is Laid Bare
“The beauty is that loving relationship becomes both the means and the end of personal identity. It is both how we exist and the goal for which we exist.”
—Hannah Anderson in Made For More
I know the way of the hermit. It has surprised me to learn that to be a hermit, one need not live alone. I am a wife and a mother of two, and yet, I am also a hermit. I interact with people face to face or over the phone only when it is necessary. And sometimes not even then.
Continue reading The Way of the Hermit — When Pursuits Become Idols