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Solemn Joy and Hot Gospel

’Twas the middle of that sacred time of year when all Americans pause to remember what is most important—Christmas Shopping Season.  I had just walked through the automatic doorway of MediaPlay, out in what was then the edge of Rockford’s wasteland (the East State Street shopping corridor, which has since sprawled itself all the way...


For Zion’s Sake

“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace,” declares the LORD, through his prophet Isaiah, “and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”  So great is God’s provision for His people that even “the Gentiles shall see...


Church Shopper

Like the French, we Americans live in, to borrow from Claude Polin, a “me-first” society.  Each and every man is the measure of all things, his own arbiter of that which is beautiful, true, and of good report.  Reared on the Disney principle (You can be whatever you want to be, or, Be true to...


Everybody Loves Paul

These are the days of shame for American Christians.  Not the sort of shame, like Isaiah’s, that results from coming face to face with a holy God.  (“Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips.”)  Instead, it is the sort that Buck Dorkman feels in the school cafeteria, when he picks up...


Farewell to Spare Oom

Just before the December 7, 2005, premiere of Walt Disney Pictures’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, a tiny bomb was dropped on Christians in America and Great Britain who were desperate to see the film.  Val Stevenson posted the text of a brief letter on her literary website,,...