Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday Good Reads

Margaret Atwood is a celebrated Canadian writer, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale (and many other works) that’s helped inspire many women’s protests and marches. Her liberal credentials seem impeccable. So, guess who became the target of progressive activists, and simply because she defended the truth? Jonathan Kay has the story at Quillette.

Religious freedom matters, says Dr. Art Lindley, because political and economic freedom can’t survive without it. And he goes beyond that to say religious, economic, and political freedom are grounded in Biblical principles.

Spitalfields Life takes a walk through Spitalfields Market. On our trip to London last fall, we did, too, and got to see a side of London that tourists rarely venture to.

A story of a young woman who escaped the Japanese army’s Rape of Nanjing in 1937, a case for discovering old movies, seven steps to becoming an awesome poet, and more.

Writing and Literature

Ranking Shakespeare's Plays as Crime Fiction – Dwyer Murphy at CrimeReads.

The Glory of Permanent Words – Samul James at Letters & Liturgy.


Put it to the test – Jeff Selph at Selph Promotion.

Why Christians Should Rediscover Old Movies – Barton Gingerich at Letters & Liturgy.

Gray Hair Belongs on the Front Lines – David Gunderson at The Gospel Coalition.

The quaint concept of self-denial – David Rupert at Red-Letter Believers.

When Did Evangelical Christianity Begin? – Thomas Kidd at The Gospel Coalition.


7 Steps to Becoming an Awesome Poet – Mary Harwell Sayler at The Poetry Editor.

Decay – Tim Good.

Raincoat – Megan Willome.

Life and Culture

Why They Hate Margaret Atwood – Jonathan Kay at Quillette.

Trafficking in Fear – Christiana Peterson at Image Journal.

Not Religious? Here’s Why Religious Freedom Still Matters – Dr. Art Lindley at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

The Fall of Nanjing as My Grandmother Lived It – David Chen at The Atlantic.

Art and Photography

Death Valley Hang-over – Daniel Peters.

British Stuff

A Walk Through Spitalfields Market – Spitalfields Life.

Kentucky All-State Choir Sings the National Anthem - 2018

Painting: Interior Scene with Man Reading, oil on canvas by William Sommer (1898).

Friday, March 23, 2018


After Ephesians 5:1-2

Imitation, someone said,
is the highest form
of something, someone (else)
said, or perhaps it was
the same person or
the same thought, but
they got it wrong, because
it is what we are to be,
imitators, called to imitation
in three parts:
   to be loved as children
   to live love in our lives
   to sacrifice as before
loved first
then love
then sacrifice
that is what is mean
by imitation: imitation
is the form of love
the form of sacrifice
an offering

Photograph by Ashim D/Silva via Unsplash. Used with permission.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Dancers in Mourning" by Margery Allingham

As William Farraday writes his memoirs, he realizes that much of his life has been something less than exciting. So, he embellishes a bit. Even more than a bit. When the book is published under the title “Memoirs of an Old Duffer,” it becomes a hit. And then it becomes a successful musical in London’s West End, starring one of the top performers in the business, Jimmy Sutane.

For one performance, Farraday brings his friend Albert Campion. The purpose is for Campion to meet Jimmy Sutane after the show. Someone has been playing pranks on Sutane, and the pranks are becoming increasingly vicious.

Campion visits the Sutane home, 20 miles outside London, and discovers tensions simmering just below the polite surface. He also finds Sutane’s wife, Linda, and Campion finds himself complicating what he’s supposed to be doing by falling in love. The other guests are all connected to the theater and “those theatrical people” are always overly dramatic.

And then a dancer is killed in what appears to be an accident. More deaths follow. Because of Linda, Campion tries to avoid getting entangled. But his entanglement is inevitable.

Dancers in Mourning was first published by Mystery Golden Age writer Margery Allingham (1904-1966) in 1937. The mark of an Allingham novel is a good mystery combined with a touch of romance, but it’s surprising that the romance in this story involves Campion and the wife of one of the suspects.

Margery Allingham
Allingham began publishing in 1923 when she was only 19. But it was The Crime at Black Dudley in 1929 that established her as one of the best mystery writers of the era. That story introduced Campion, a private detective who has assumed his name because he’s actually a title in one of Britain’s leading aristocratic families. His “man” or butler Magersfontein Lugg, a convicted felon who has seen the inside of prison, also contributed to Allingham’s success, and in this story Campion loans him to Linda when her butler quits.

Dancers in Mourning is an excellent mystery, one that jeeps the reader guessing (and Campion himself guessing) all the way to the end.


Top photograph: the Palace Theatre in London’s West End, which first opened in 1891.