John Gardner on The Art of Fiction

At my friend Brian’s recommendation, I read John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers. The book is about writing fiction, but what Gardner says can be applied to the writing of anything from a blog post to a scholarly article to a non-fiction book or even to a sermon. William […]

Jayber Crow on the People of God

Here is Jayber’s lyrical description of God’s glorious inheritance: the saints, “One day when I went up there to work [Jayber is the church janitor], sleepiness overcame me and I lay down on the floor behind the back pew to take a nap. Waking or sleeping (I couldn’t tell which), I saw all the people […]

Jayber Crow on Silence in Worship

Jayber on those beautiful moments of silence when the congregation stills itself before the living God: “I liked the naturally occurring silences—the one, for instance, just before the service began and the other, the briefest imaginable, just after the last amen. Occasionally a preacher would come who had a little bias toward silence, and then […]

Jayber Crow on “Weathering” Sermons

Can God bring good out of bad preaching? Here’s Jayber: “In general, I weathered even the worst sermons pretty well. They had the great virtue of causing my mind to wander. Some of the best things I have ever thought of I have thought of during bad sermons. Or I would look out the windows. […]

Interview with Bryan Litfin on His First Novel, The Sword

Bryan Litfin is Professor of Theology at Moody Bible Insitute. His book Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction, is what you would expect from a patristics scholar, but now he has also written a novel, The Sword, which is the first volume in “The Chiveis Trilogy.” The book is set in a […]

On Re-Reading Homer’s Iliad

Homer’s noble high-born lords Think mainly of themselves, Lasting words and shining swords, Through flesh and soul they delve. Yet the highest truths we have He does not seem to know: For sinful guilt he gives no salve; No peace with God does show. Reading him, one must ask why There’s good in his wide […]

Andrew Peterson’s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Do you want to read a thrilling novel about the conflict for the fate of the world between the Fangs of Dang (snake-men, seed of the serpent) and the seed of the woman (little children who have lost their father and have a strong, noble mother)? Let me commend to you Andrew Peterson’s On the […]

Literary Notes from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

As mentioned earlier, I think that A. Philip Brown II’s Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Analysis of Ezra is the best book on the theology of Ezra available. Last week I posted notes I took from the book on the way that literature works. Here are the links to those posts in one […]

Notes on Characterization from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

So this is the final installment of my notes on how narrative literature works from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin. For more, you’ll have to read the book for yourself, which I don’t think you’ll regret doing. Here’s what he says about Characterization: “Characterization refers to how an author portrays the characters in his narrative” (108). “There […]

Notes on Point of View from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

So yesterday I noted that this material from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin will help you read all kinds of narrative, and today I note that ambitious souls thinking about writing narrative would be helped by such thoughts as these on Point of View: Point of View: “Point of view refers to how a story is […]

Notes on Plot Composition from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

So I’m posting the notes I took on how literature works from A. Philip Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin, and it occurs to me that maybe I should note that attending to these features will help you read all kinds of narrative, not just biblical narrative. Maybe I didn’t need to say that, but there it […]

Notes on Plot from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

As I mentioned yesterday, I deeply appreciate A. Philip Brown’s book, Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Anaylsis of Ezra. Here are the notes I took on what he says about plot–page numbers in parentheses refer to Brown’s book: Plot: ordered arrangement of the incidents . . . which has a beginning and a […]

The Best Literary and Theological Analysis of Ezra Available

A. Philip Brown II has given us a treat in his published dissertation, Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Analysis of Ezra. If you like biblical theology that is sensitive to the literary features of the biblical authors, you’ll love this book. One of the aspects of this book that I most appreciated was […]