The Best Christian Writing 2002
edited by John Wilson
HarperSanFrancisco, 336 pages, $15.95

If variety is the spice of life, then this eclectic collection is the fresh seasoning that the Christian literary world sorely needs. Culled from literary resources such as Christianity Today, Harper's, Touchstone, The Christian Century, and John Wilson's own magazine (and CT's sister publication), Books & Culture, writers explore diverse topics through the lens of belief.

Frederica Mathewes-Greene offers thoughtful and lucid prose in her "Three Bad Ideas for Women and What to Do About Them," and there's the challenging "Salvation is from the Jews" from Richard John Neuhaus. In the endearing "Open Secrets," Richard Lischer mulls over his new pastorate; Jürgen Moltmann's "Science and Wisdom" is a compelling environmental treatise.

Some entries will make readers reach for tissues, as with Sarah Hinlicky's touching reminiscence on the death of her grandfather in "Great Beyond." This celebration of fine writing of faith should serve as a springboard for further investigation of the authors, books, and periodicals included.

Related Elsewhere

The Best of Christian Writing 2002 is available at

Editor John Wilson is editor of Christianity Today sister publication Books & Culture. He also writes the Books & Culture Corner on our website every Monday.

Articles compiled in the book from Christianity Today and its sister publications include:

The Last Catholic Writer in America? | The other day I looked over the books on the shelves in my apartment, and I was struck by how many of them could be classified as "Catholic literature" or "Catholic writing." By Paul Elie (Books & Culture Corner, Nov./Dec. 2001)
Open Secrets | No one could have prepared me for my first week as pastor in New Cana. By Richard Lischer (Leadership, Fall 2001)
The 'Ample' Man Who Saved My Faith | G.K. Chesterton propounded the Christian faith with great wit—and sheer intellectual force. By Philip Yancey (Christianity Today, August 31, 2001)
Small Beneath the Firmament | For my father-in-law, his place in the order of Creation was no diminishment, but the beginning of wisdom. By Walter Wangerin Jr. (Christianity Today, March 2, 2001)
The Great Reunion Beyond | Death is the heartless divider—or so I thought before I watched my grandpa die. By Sarah Hinlicky (Christianity Today, Feb. 15, 2001)

Other articles compiled in the book include:

The Ghost of Christmas Past—Lionel Basney, The Weekly Standard (Dec. 25, 2002)
Salvation Is from the Jews—Richard John Neuhaus, First Things (November 2001)
Why We Hate Teachers—Garret Keizer, Harper's (Sept. 2001)
Clio's Makeshift Laboratory—Wilfred, M. McClay, First Things (March 2001)
Columbine, Kudzu, and a Colt .45—Nancy Hastings Sehested, Sojourners (July/August 2001)
Three Bad Ideas—Frederica Mathewes-Greene, Touchstone (July/August 2001)
If Screwtape Had Watched CNN—Amy Schwartz,
Things Seen and Unseen—Sam Torode,

Frederica Mathewes-Green is a former Christianity Today columnist.

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