Hope

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Six
The Road
By Cormac McCarthy

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

~Romans 5:3–4


We speak of hope frequently in daily talk.  Its range extends from wishful thinking to profound spirituality.  Chapter Six of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well examines the virtue of hope with examples drawn from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.  Today we consider the difference between the passion of hope from theological hope.    Continue reading “Hope”

Hope

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Six
The Road
By Cormac McCarthy

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

~Romans 5:3–4


Chapter Six of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well examines the virtue of hope with examples drawn from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.  In this continuance of the theological virtues, we consider our future. In many ways, our world seems to be teetering on the edge of apocalypse.    Continue reading “Hope”

Faith

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Five
Silence
By Shusaku Endo

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1


Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “Not every man is so great a coward as he thinks he is — nor yet so good a Christian.” Is the essence of a man that which he holds in his heart, or more akin to his actions?  Chapter Five of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well examines the virtue of faith with examples drawn from Shusaku Endo’s Silence, a novel that raises questions about faith that is hidden.    Continue reading “Faith”

Faith

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Five
Silence
By Shusaku Endo

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1


The Bible has much to say about faith, but what exactly is it?  Chapter Five of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well examines the virtue through a discussion of Shusaku Endo’s Silence.     Continue reading “Faith”

Faith

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Five
Silence
By Shusaku Endo

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1


Chapter Five of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well examines the virtue of faith with examples drawn from Shusaku Endo’s Silence.  In this section, we move to the theological virtues. The novel examines the struggle of Christians who are physically persecuted for their beliefs and the degree to which the virtue of faith is tied to faithfulness and fidelity in lifestyle.    Continue reading “Faith”

Courage

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Four
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
By Mark Twain

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9


In Chapter Four of On Reading Well, Karen Swallow Prior quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer who in his book Ethics wrote “When a man takes guilt upon himself in responsibility, he imputes his guilt to himself and no one else. He answers for it. . . . Before other men he is justified by dire necessity; before himself he is acquitted by his conscience, but before God he hopes only for grace.”  It is a matter of obtaining clarity in understanding and then acting accordingly.

Continue reading “Courage”

Courage

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Four
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
By Mark Twain

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9


In one of the most famous scenes of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus faces down a lynch mob whose collective (as Karen says) “false bravery” is only undone by the innocence of Scout.  Chapter Four of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well examines a similar scene from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.   Continue reading “Courage”

Courage

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Four
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
By Mark Twain

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9


Chapter Four of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well, examines the virtue of courage with examples drawn from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  The book is often criticized as the crude snapshot of a bygone era, but others find timeless truths in the tales of a growing young boy.  Hemingway said “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.” Continue reading “Courage”

Justice

On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior

Chapter Three
A Tale of Two Cities
By Charles Dickens

Do horses run on the rocky crags? Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness—

Amos 6:12


In Chapter Three of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well, the virtue of justice is described as the equilibrium of self-regard and a love for one’s neighbor.  In many ways, that runs counter to the popular perspective of today’s civil and criminal judicial system. It is not a dynamic that occurs naturally in human nature, and its progress forward must be intentional.

Continue reading “Justice”