We’ve got books, projects, videos, stories and more for you today. Dive into imagination and explore the world around you!
Also! Preorders are open for Prince Lander and the Dragon War: Tales of Old Natalia Book III! Don’t miss the chance to get your signed copy from S.D. Smith.
Around the Web
People of the Book: How Have Christians Viewed Books Across Centuries?
James Eglinton reviews The Library by Andrew Pettegree & Arthur der Weduwen, and explores the connection between Christians and books.
- In 2016, my late colleague Larry Hurtado’s Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World offered a compelling explanation of early Christianity’s rapid spread in an initially hostile Roman culture. Although Hurtado’s book is not in any sense a missiological textbook, its account of the early church’s growth nonetheless reminded readers of an important principle: churches that grow are simultaneously familiar and foreign to their host cultures.
2022 Sidney Taylor Award MG Roundup
Janie at Redeemed Reader explores the books recognized for the Sidney Taylor award this year.
- The Sidney Taylor Award, named for the author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, is presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries to “outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.” Three categories are recognized: picture books, middle grade, and young adult. All three of the middle-grade titles are worth a look, so here they are:
John 14: Our Heavenly Home
Sharon Rockwell looks forward to the home promised to us.
- A favorite in my book collection is one that has no words at all. Artist John S. Goodall’s Above and Below Stairs is a series of water-colored paintings portraying the lives of the privileged in England from the Middle Ages to the early 1900’s. The book must be held horizontally. Each picture covers two full pages, separated by a half page which meshes into the original painting, but when turned, changes the scene from what was happening to the elite to what was happening to the servants and working people in the same time period. The “upstairs” may show a lovely formal banquet, but when covered with the half page, the picture changes to depict the cooks and servants working “below the stairs.”
Beauty in the Threshold
Lore Ferguson Wilbert explores the idea that beauty will save the world.
- A year ago this month, James K.A. Smith shared a piece on Christian Century that I’ve reread no fewer than ten times since then. His title and thesis is, “I’m a philosopher. We can’t think our way out of this mess.” Smith makes the argument that it is beauty that will save the world, not critique, and I’m inclined to agree. The question for the thinking person, though, is how does one turn down the volume on thinking and turn up the simple appreciation and cultivation of creativity?
Around the Warren
Taking Stories Outside
Kathryn Butler explores the life of the imagination outdoors.
- Queen Christie’s enchanted sword cast a halo through the underbrush as she crouched low, her keen eyes scanning the darkness for a familiar glimmer. A breeze tousled her hair, and she caught her breath as she glimpsed it: the glow of a magic stone discarded among the brambles.
Theology is Awesome (Videos)
Théa Rosenburg reviews a series of videos making theology accessible for families.
- Our theology influences every part of our lives, and yet so many theology resources are fairly abstract—they’re hard to decipher, and tough for kids to decode. We adults can leap a little more nimbly from one abstract concept to another, so applying theology—what we believe about God—to a dicey situation at work may come more easily to us. It isn’t easy, of course, but we’ve had more practice. Our brains can handle a little abstract thinking.
On Christians Reading Fiction: Stealing Past Watchful Dragons
Kelly Keller reminds us of the value of fiction reading.
- Last fall I dropped by the church office to drop something off. After a few minutes of chatting with the staff, I picked up my keys to go home. One of our interns then asked me the question, “what would you say to someone who thinks it’s not valuable spiritually to read fiction?” I put down my keys. An hour later, I actually went home, and he went back to his seminary homework.
Introducing Zao’s Tales
Rachel S. Donahue introduces a new novel from J. A. Sommer—and the Kickstarter campaign to fund it.
- Have you ever read a story that made you look up from the page at the world around you to see it with a renewed sense of wonder? That little patch of woods out back—or the bus stop down the street—suddenly harbors a new magic that lends itself to the imagination. Your eyes scan the trees for a glimmer of something you just know is there, or your hands press the steel bench beneath you in amazement at how solid it is.
Something to Do with Your Kids
I mean, who doesn’t need a glowing game so your kids can pretend to be glow in the dark ninjas?
Something to Watch
I mean, it’s Olympics time. Did you expect me to share anything else? Nathan Chen’s record-breaking free skate is worth your time.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
–The Story Warren Team