My friend Julie Mullins has written a substantial article about Frederick Buechner’s lastest collection, Secrets in the Dark, in the new issue of Image. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of both the book and the journal.

Secrets begins with a meditation on the story of Jacob wrestling the angel titled “The Magnificent Defeat.” I read it aloud last night to Anne, and we were both deeply moved by it. Having grown up in the church, I’ve heard so many sermons that I find it difficult to pay attention to them anymore. But every once in a while I hear a voice that is so honest, so challenging, so eloquent, so humble, and so attentive to the spirit that I’m reminded just how powerful a sermon can be. Buechner reminds me that the best kind of preaching is the kind that offers an honest response to scripture in all of its bewildering complexity. He is brave enough to include his own questions and doubts, and that makes all the difference.

Here’s a review from OregonLive.

SIMON STILL SURPRISING
Paul Simon’s Surprise has been playing more often than any other 2006 record at Overstreet headquarters. It’s such a bright, energetic, playful, unpredictable album, and Simon is singing as beautifully as he ever has. Here’s an article about the album at S. Mississippi’s Sun-Herald.

COCKBURN’S LIFE SHORT CALL NOW IS COMING
… and here’s a new interview in which the artist/activist delivers more of his usual politically-charged perspective.

JOHNNY CASH’S HUNDRED HIGHWAYS
Here’s a review from BlogCritics of Johnny Cash’s last collection of recordings produced by Rick Rubin. And here’s another, from AllMusic.com. I just picked this up, and it is indeed a beautiful thing. “On the 309” may have been the last song Cash ever wrote, and it’s a memorable farewell.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF BATMAN BEGINS
Here’s an arresting new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, David Bowie, and Rebecca Hall, and Scarlett Johansson.

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