How Stories Talk When They Talk About Love

In one of Raymond Carver’s classic stories, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” two married couples sit around a kitchen table, drinking gin, talking about what they really mean when they use the word “love.” Three of the four have been married multiple times, and they’ve got some disagreements on the subject. […]

Fiction and Fear

In all meaningful fiction, there exists an element of fear. It may lurk more or less in the background, more hidden in some stories than in others, but it’s there. This seems to hold true even outside the genres you’d expect to incorporate fear—horror, thrillers, weird fiction. The dynamic of fear is also hard at work […]

Show, Don’t Tell: Good Friday and the Power of Story

One of the key components to writing successful creative literature—poetry, drama, fiction, even creative nonfiction—is specificity. There’s a long history of evidence for this. And some of the most compelling evidence, maybe surprisingly, is theological. Stay with me. Concrete, sensory specificity is particularly important—appealing to the senses, to the physicality of our human natures. That’s […]

God in the Details: The Good Samaritan (Part II)

Each of the four gospels gives the reader a different perspective on the same theme. God has come in the flesh to inaugurate his Kingdom, redeem Israel for his own sake and remind the people of God that their vocation was to be salt and light, a people through whom all of God’s creation was […]

Red Booth Notes: The Woman Who Shaped the Faith of Lord Shaftesbury – Inspiration for a Life of Serving Others

           Love sometimes wears humble clothes, and finds its way in trying circumstances. The boy who became Lord Shaftesbury (1801-1885), Britain’s great reformer, knew this first hand. Though he was heir to landed estates and wealth, he was the child of a couple who were impoverished when it came to showing love. His home was […]