About Wendy Murray

Wendy Murray is a veteran and award-winning journalist. She served as associate editor and Senior Writer at Christianity Today magazine and has written extensively for other publications such as Books & Culture and The Christian Century. She has written 11 books.

Who Is the *Real* Francis of Assisi? A New Book Hasn’t Found Him

Jon's Sweeney's new book on Saint Francis

A Review of When Francis Saved the Church, by Jon Sweeney(This review is part of the Patheos Book Club.)  by Wendy MurrayWhen I was living in Assisi, Italy to work on my book about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi -- titled A Mended and a Broken Heart -- a friar and scholar with whom I regularly consulted exhorted me with a statement I have never forgotten: He said, “Francis is an ocean--don’t say we caught him.”In this way I am always curious to read new … [Read more...]

Oscar Pistorious’s Weeping and Vomiting Shows Someone Who Is Out of Control

Pistorius's vomit bucket at the ready.

It is truly alarming to see a chiseled muscled athlete so continually unhinged. Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic and Paralympic champion, finished out five grueling shriveling days of cross-examination in the South African courtroom, under the hammer of prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Throughout the cross examination and regularly at all points in the trial, the court has had to recess because of Pistorius’s weeping, wailing, and vomiting.The state is attempting to make the case that Pistorius and his g … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Lent 15 ~ Affliction shall Advance the Flight in Me


The season of Lent rises to its devastating and astonishing conclusion this week. At long last, the veil of the dark night will be forever rent and those who abide in death will have a door to walk through into a new kind of life. Jesus will suffer first (Good Friday), and then the forces that crushed him will themselves be crushed two days later (Resurrection Sunday). In its time it was a cosmic event that, in its starkest movements, occurred beyond the veil, in a place where human eyes cannot … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Lent 14: The In-between Times

Frederick Buechner

The period known as Lent is quickly coming to its climax: "Holy Week" culminating on the Sunday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.During the period of approximately six weeks that compose the period of Lent many people of faith do things, or don't do things, as an outward gesture to acknowledge this reflective season and perhaps affect spiritual growth. I can't say how this transaction occurs. But I do believe that, this kind of reflection ought to define the Christian … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis on Suffering, Let’s Do Lunch ~ a New Book

Alister McGrath

Alistair McGrath's new book If I Had Lunch with C.S.Lewis is a short volume with a lively tea-and-biscuit feel that explores Lewis's ideas on subjects related to the struggle and beauty of faith.The book's casual presentation could be helpful to some, but I stumbled over it.  The issues addressed in Lewis's arsenal of thought are not tea-and-biscuit fare. When Lewis himself broached such matters-- heaven, education or suffering, it typically involved book-length discussions and years of … [Read more...]

Why Ricky Gervais’s ‘Derek’ is the Best Show on Television

Ricky Gervais as Derek

By Wendy MurrayPicture a bus loaded with elderly people on their way to the beach. There are wheelchairs, walkers, and beach balls. The driver’s name is Dougie, a middle-aged man with a swathe of badly sculpted hair encircling the lower reaches of an otherwise cue-ball crown. He grips the wheel two-handed, elbows locked in the plaintive unresolved way that defines him. His friend Kev is riding in the rear with the old people. He has nothing better to do and so tags-along. He is nodding off c … [Read more...]

World Vision’s Decision & the Hazard of Drawing Lines


World Vision’s announcement they will accept same-sex married couples into their employ has stirred a backlash. In arguing against this concession, one well-known website has argued:“To treat regular homosexual intercourse as less dangerous than fornication, adultery, greed, theft, and drunkenness is to treat perdition as if it were a small thing, or not really coming. [This list is derived from 1 Corinthians 6]. The same text that imperils active fornicators and adulterers and thieves and co … [Read more...]