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Letter from the Editor
I've been reading a galley of Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection, by Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson, pastors in Austin (Dodson) and Portland (Watson). The subtitle may hook some readers, while others (alas) may be inadvertently discouraged from opening the book. Dodson and Watson acknowledge, matter-of-factly, that "[t]he resurrection of a man from the dead was not easy to believe" in the time of Jesus, "nor is it easy to accept today." They write both for those who have never believed and for those who do believe, who have said the creeds and prayed the Lord's Prayer again and again yet who find themselves wondering, doubting, sometimes troubled by the undertones of a nagging question, sometimes staggered by a sudden conviction that the claim is utterly preposterous. (How could I have ever believed that?) Dodson and Watson's book is itself an act of pastoral ministry, a winsome invitation to faith and discipleship.
(By the way: If you are a believer who hasn't wrestled with doubt, don't let anyone bully you into thinking that your sense of belonging in God's family is somehow "superficial," that if you went through a dark night of the soul your faith would be more "authentic." We should neither stigmatize "doubt" nor wear it as badge of pride. What did Jesus say? We should receive the kingdom of God like a little child.)
There is no article about Easter in this issue of BOOKS & CULTURE, but the hope promised by the Resurrection sustains the whole enterprise. It undergirds the first piece in this issue—Stephen Williams reviewing Charles Taliferro's The Golden Cord: A Short Book on the Secular and the Sacred—and the last: Benjamin Myers on the "god-haunted" poems of Paul Mariani.
Also in this issue, Kirby Olson reviews a biography of the poet Marianne Moore, whom I love. Moore hasn't lacked for scholarly attention. Recently, thanks ...