A savvy sense of rhetoric also distinguishes this companionable volume, as Clayton proves adept at structuring column-length considerations of controversial or challenging topics—the nature of authority; the state of the U.S. armed forces—so that they read like searching, open-minded journeys of mind rather than received opinions or polemics. When making an argument, he seems to be teasing out and testing a personal truth. An essay on the tense relationship between religion and the state strikes a wise, reasonable tone unlike what readers have grown accustomed to from firebrands on either side of the issue. “Christianity is the guardian of our conscience,” he writes. “It can be exaggerated or twisted into theocracies that are cruel and pale distortions of the true principles of the faith. But choosing the alternative—destroying religion—leads to a far worse outcome.”
A polished prose stylist, Clayton holds to foundational truths but remains open to new ideas. And he’s funny, writing light yet serious pieces about what a believer learns from golf or on the horrors he encounters in his inbox. Christian readers will find much to enjoy and consider in this lively collection.
Takeaway: These wise, lively essays consider topics both light and challenging from a perspective of Christian faith.
Great for fans of: David Bentley Hart, Cindy La Ferle’s Writing Home, Deadline Artists: America's Greatest Newspaper Columns.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A