Some Thoughts on Charlie Hebdo, Satire, and Nihilism

On January 23, 2015, in Christianity, Culture, Death, Islam, Muslims, Philosophy, Terrorism, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

“It is the test of good religion,” G. K. Chesterton wrote, “whether you can joke about it.” If the reactions of religion’s proponents is any judge, Judaism and Christianity fair pretty well. Islam—at least a large segment of Islam—doesn’t think it’s very funny. Of course no practicing Jew, Christian, or Muslim considers the cartoons published […]

“Daily Rituals: How Artists Work”

On November 14, 2014, in Books, Culture, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work is an intriguing idea . . . poorly executed. But perhaps that’s not quite fair. I’m not sure anyone could have pulled off an engaging read of the daily routines of creatives. As interesting as it sounds, delving into the daily work habits of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott […]

“Letters and Life”: A Book Review

On July 2, 2014, in Books, Christian, Culture, Literature, Movies, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

The 2012 movie The Words begins with a cliché: young novelist struggles to find representation for his first novel. Every writer, young or old, who’s ever tried to get their work published has experienced this frustration and disappointment; each of them can show you a stack of rejection letters received over the years. But in […]

“A Moveable Feast”: A Book Review

On February 22, 2014, in Books, Culture, Literature, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

“A movable feast,” that’s what Ernest Hemingway called Paris. “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man,” Hemingway wrote a friend in 1950, “then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Hemingway was one of the lucky […]

10 Commandments of Critical Comments

On January 21, 2014, in Lying, Truth, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

“If you’re catching flack, you know you’re over the target.” This has been my maxim since I walked across the threshold of public life. My public life is a modest one, to be sure, but anyone who expresses an opinion to a reading or listening audience knows that criticism comes with the territory. It’s simply […]

Working While There’s Light

On April 3, 2013, in America, Calling, Culture, Freedom, Liberty, Patriotism, Prayer, Purpose in Life, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

A few years ago I taught a series on Christian citizenship, wrestling with questions such as: How should Christians conduct themselves in the public square? What role should we play in culture, education, economics, technology, and science? What does the Bible say about government and the command to submit? What are the responsibilities of Christians […]

A Baker’s Dozen of Style

On August 16, 2012, in Books, Language, Literature, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

“Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Isn’t that encouraging? Writing is more than sweating blood of course, but it certainly is that. I suppose you already know about the terror and strain of staring at a blank piece […]