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No. 20


Editor's Note

Places in the Heart


Reflections on Contemporary Christian Art
As Occasioned by My Fall into Moral Criticism
Todd Gibson
A moralistic approach to criticism usually doesn't do justice to the work of art on which it's applied. But works of art that exist primarily to assert a philosophical position limit critical engagement.

To Narnia Together
Travels from the Top Bunk
Jeffrey Johnson
The author reflects on his journeys with his oldest son into Narnia, the magical place which, C.S. Lewis said, grew out of a mental picture of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels across a snowy wood.

The Stained-Glass Delaware
Stephen J. Rippon
"No ideas but in things," the poet William Carlos Williams said. In this essay, Stephen Rippon relates how he attempted to secure his memories of his home state by making a stained-glass image of Delaware. In the process, he reflects on the difficulty of staying connected to places and people in these transient times.


Infinity Applied
Glimpses of God in the Numbers
John Noonan
"Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe," according to Galileo. Here, John Noonan explains that as we discover new mathematical truth, we gain a greater understanding of the character and mind of God.

Ass-Kicking for Jesus' Sake
Walker Percy's Vision of the Christian Artist
Mathew Woodley
How does the believer go about writing, "having cast his lot with a discredited Christendom and having inherited a defunct vocabulary?" asked novelist Walker Percy. This study explores some of Percy's answers to his own question.

The Mars Hill Interview

The Poetry of American Life
A Conversation with Robert Pinsky
Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler
As Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky launched the Favorite Poem Project and invited ordinary Americans to send him their most beloved poems. Here, Pinsky speaks about poetry as a communal force, and what he calls "the struggle and sprawl of spiritual reaching" in his writing.

Reminders of God

The Writing Life


Sidestep is Mainstream
Thomas Allbaugh

The Trial
Mary Cameron Kilgour


My Bones Are Vexed
Judy A. Johnson

Power and Grace
David Vanderveen


Spiritual Exercises in a Cellar Bookstore
Brett Foster

The Refusal
Brett Foster

Dei Gratia
Brett Foster

Cleopatra Mathis

At the Lake That Was Once a Volcano
Anne Higgins

John Terpstra

At the Blue Mosque
Jennifer Horne

Mark Gordon

Is Now
Todd Melicker

A Small Catechism
Jim Elledge

Views and Reviews


Time*Sex*Love, Mary Chapin Carpenter
David W. Johnson

The Houston Kid, Rodney Crowell
David W. Johnson

Love and Theft, Bob Dylan
D. S. Martin

Shangri La Dee Da, Stone Temple Pilots
Dave Urbanski

Music Also Reviewed
David W. Johnson and Sarah Koops Vanderveen



Upon Loss of Light:
A Reflection on the Death of Eudora Welty
Margaret-Love Denman


Questions for Ecclesiastes, Mark Jarman
Marlene Muller

This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Lost and Found, Carolyn S. Briggs
K. J. Gilchrist

Books Also Reviewed
Bill McGarvey and Kell Andrew Peterson



The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings
Liam Atchison


Jennifer Anderson

Black Hawk Down
Mark Metherell

Moulin Rouge
Susie Miller

Ghost Dog
Barret Fisher

Films Also Reviewed
Scott Emmert and Joey Earl Horstman

compiled by Susie Miller

Mars Hill Contributors