It’s not very often, but every once in a while I am asked by someone how to improve as a writer and thinker. My first answer is to read great writers. Soak up the way they craft their sentences, ponder the way they twist a phrase, read and read and read their language. Osmosis doesn’t create great writing, but in the way a carpenter’s apprentice watches and learns from the master, so those who endeavor to write well can glean much from reading good writing. It gets into you.

One of the ambitions of Christ and Pop Culture is to create a place where great writing engages the ideas and conversations of our day. Our writers strive to cultivate words in powerful reflections of the world and it’s condition. We hope that our writers will help cultivate better thinkers and writers in the world.

Woiwode is like a museum tour guide that knows the best stories of the place to which he leads

We also seek to cultivate such an approach to thinking, writing, and engaging culture by curating the book selections for our Member Offerings. We find someone who can provide for our members a body of work that will not only inspire them, but will also challenge and motivate them as thinkers and writers. This month our Christ and Pop Culture members are privileged to engage and learn from the words of one of the best modern writers in America, Larry Woiwode, through his book Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and Culture from Crossway Books.

Woiwode is an award winning author who brings to the table an assortment of essays that have been reinfused and reconsidered for today.

Remarkably, many of the issues that caused Woiwode to being writing–violence, education, journalism–are still relevant and hot-button issues for our times. Woiwode’s refreshed engagement with these issues are parables that offer perspective and cause us to think and consider our own positions in life. But more than hot topics, Woiwode introduces us to his influences. He takes us to the writers that have helped shape and form his craft. Like a museum tour guide that knows the best stories of the place to which he leads, he will occasionally join the tour and listen to the strong voices of the museum pieces itself.

The beauty of this kind of book is not that it is timely, or pragmatic, or even instructive. Words Made Fresh doesn’t overtly state it’s a book written by a Christian. It’s not preachy or dogmatic or directive. It’s a book to help us learn how to think, how to write, and how to describe the world in which we live. But it won’t give us steps or directions in how to write. Woiwode just does it, and we get to sit, listen, and learn.

As we begin a new year, this could be a very powerful posture for us as a society. Sometimes the best way to produce a thought about something and articulate it well is to listen to someone who has mastered it and writes about it in a manner that is enjoyable and thoughtful regardless if one agrees or not. This is where Woiwode directs us this new year.