About - Interviews - Reviews - Extracts - Issues - Subscribe - Support Us - More Info


No. 14



Judaism: Finding Our Roots
Mary Blye Howe
For hundreds of years, many non-Jews have viewed the Jewish religion with suspicion. Most writers have tended to focus on the Jews’ tragic history and distinctive culture rather than providing a meaningful analysis of their religious practices. In this article, a journalist goes "undercover" to a synagogue in her native Texas, discovering a level of devotion to God and the scriptures that invigorates her own faith.

Breathing Room
Kevin Heath
Kevin Heath describes the ambivalence he experienced as a member of both a rowdy college tennis team and a boisterous Campus Crusade group, and wonders whether he was "a wave tossed by the sea, a dog returning to its vomit, or just plain double-minded." This essay recalls the pressures many encounter as they try to juggle the demands of Christian and secular cultures, and the inescapable need for "breathing room."

Bible Stories
Sam Alvord
In a a series of poignant vignettes, the writer discusses the touchstones that have shaped and molded his faith. Along the way, he describes first love, school days, work at a Bible camp, and the death of a loved one.


Etty Hillesum and the Language of Silence
Gerald Schiffhorst

In An Interrupted Life, a remarkable collection of World War II letters and journal entries, Etty Hillesum chronicles the journey from her native Amsterdam to the Nazi transit camp at Westerbork. (She later died at Auschwitz.) The eloquent testimony of Hillesum's courage and inward peace brings to mind the writings of Edith Stein and Simone Weil.

Ought from Is
Ethical Implications of a Naturalist Science
Scott T. Walters

Among academics, one experiences an inconsistency between the scientific assumptions that are made and the kind of ethical absolutes that are practiced. In this paper Scott Walters maintains that it is impossible for purely natural assumptions of the universe to provide a basis for any normative ethical statements, examining ethics in light of Darwin, Freud, and the nihilists.

Why Baseball is Better Than Football, Especially for Republicans
Robert D. Linder

Since baseball's inception in 1845, baseball has been known as "America's game." In this fascinating study, the author argues that, despite its ascendency in recent years, football promotes "power, violence, instant gratification, and the exploitation of female sexuality." Baseball, on the other hand, teaches the sound principles of a strong republic, namely "reverence, sobriety, frugality, industry, and honesty."

The Mars Hill Interview

Inventing the Truth
A Conversation with Elizabeth Spencer
Nancy Tilly

A product of the Old South, New Structuralism, and Vanderbilt's Agrarian movement, Mississippian Elizabeth Spencer invites comparisons to fellow writers Eudora Welty and Caroline Gordon. She has written numerous novels, including Fire in the Morning, Ship Island, and The Night Travellers, and a 1998 memoir, Landscapes of the Heart. In this fascinating interview, Spencer talks about the struggles for civil rights in the South as well as some of the personal struggles that shaped her fiction.

Reminders of God

The Writing Life


The Amazing Roush
Jeremy Nafziger


Room to Romp
Max Heine


Reply to Rimbaud
Bob Hudson

From the Diaries of Doctor Henry Frankenstein
Bryan Dietrich

Three Poems
Judith Terry McCune

Abel, the Keeper of Flocks
Peter Junker

Blue River
Ron Rash

Rachelle L. Smith

Saint Michael's in Charleston
Charlotte F. Otten

Views and Reviews

Essay: Tori Amos:
A Choirgirl Growing Up
Douglas Thorpe


Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu, Bruce Cockburn
Stuart C. Hancock

Mule Variations, Tom Waits
Dave Urbanski

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
Douglas Thorpe

Music Also Reviewed
Douglas Thorpe


Essay: Some Thoughts on Copenhagen
Gina Bria


Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir, Bryan Burrough
James Vescovi

I Was Amelia Earhart, Jane Mendolsohn
Sheryl Cornett

Recovered Body, Scott Cairns
Brent Short

Books Also Reviewed
Sheryl Cornett



Tracking the Force:
The Moral Theology of Star Wars
Joey Earl Horstman

The Dance of Violence
Jon Wallace

Review: The Thin Red Line
Scott Emmert

Films Also Reviewed
Scott Emmert and Joey Earl Horstman

Timeless graffiti from the broad canvas.
Compiled by James Vescovi

Mars Hill Contributors