All three of Kent Haruf’s novels set in the fictional farming town of Holt, Colorado, bear liturgical-sounding titles: Plainsong (1999), Eventide (2004) and now Benediction. Many of their characters are looking for a benediction: a good word of connection, closure, forgiveness or security.
Lying is usually considered reprobate behavior, yet it seems to be acceptable behavior for political leaders and even expected in international affairs. Mearsheimer was surprised to learn that political leaders are much more inclined to lie to their own people about foreign affairs than they are to lie to the leaders of other countries.
What does it mean to be mainline Protestant? For some it means being Christian, but not evangelical, or not Catholic, or not a member of some other group perceived to be inadequate. Others imagine the tall steeple on Main Street, or the majority of the electorate, or some other icon of Christendom’s passing power.
In November 2009, the vision in Nora Gallagher’s right eye went blurry. For the next two years Gallagher went from specialist to specialist trying to find out what was wrong. In the process she learned how illness can strip away not only the illusion of control, but also one’s faith, hope, and very identity. Naturally, she wrote about it.
The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline