On Romantic Literature

By the time Mary Shelley published Frankenstein in 1818—it could be argued her Modern Prometheus was the quintessence of Romantic literature—it would seem the Romantic era was already approaching its zenith. Just 20 years earlier Wordsworth and Coleridge had published their Lyrical Ballads, believed by most to be the “the premiere volume of English Romanticism,”... Continue Reading →

Finding Meaning in Literature

In chapter two of Christianity and Literature, Jeffrey and Maillet lament, “Many literary majors…graduate without any clear sense of whether literary theory enables them to find…any truth, goodness, beauty or even any meaning in literature.” In response to this dismal assessment, indulge me a brief opportunity to summarize the three theories of truth—truth being the... Continue Reading →

An Existential Evaluation

If you have ever wondered why you exist, or if you had a purpose in the world—if there was a place in this complex universe designed specifically for you—congratulations! You’re human. Wondering about the meaning of life, and about your place in the universe is sometimes referred to as an existential crisis. But since it’s a... Continue Reading →

The Truth About Poiema

In the age of the internet and social media, writers can be like bad cliches—a dime-a-dozen—and redundant too. Online writing courses are nearly as ubiquitous. So why pour another glass of water into a swollen ocean? Hi. My name is Scott Postma, and I am the founder of Poiema, an institute for faith, culture, and... Continue Reading →

What is Meaningful Art?

The philosopher and theologian, Francis Schaeffer, once said, Unlike modern man, the men of the day did not live in a splintered world. Art was an intimate part of life. What is represented had more than an aesthetic value divorced from considerations of truth and religious significance. Schaeffer reminds us that art reflects a particular... Continue Reading →

William Zinsser On Good Writing

  Good writing has an aliveness that keeps the reader reading from one paragraph to the next, and it's not a question of gimmicks to "personalize" the author. It's a question of using the English language in a way that will achieve the greatest clarity and strength. Can such principles be taught? Maybe not. But... Continue Reading →

C.S. Lewis on the Reading of Old Books

  It has always therefore been one of my main endeavors as a teacher to persuade the young that first-hand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than second-hand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire...Naturally, since I myself am a writer, I do not wish the ordinary reader to read... Continue Reading →

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