"Art, good art," according to William H. Willimon, Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University, "is an effort to render the world truthfully, to bring to speech that which is often left unspoken because it is too painful, or too wonderful, or too beyond the range of most of our pitiful powers of description." The best literature expands our horizons, opens up our hearts, and enables us to empathize with others.

In this sturdy collection of essays, William H. Willimon delves deeply into ten stories (ancient and modern) that enhance our understanding of the life of faith. They range from a consideration of Homer's Odyssey as an exploration of the way back home to Ron Hansen's Mariette in Ecstasy which reveals the mystery of God's grace. Willimon offers an especially cogent evaluation of Anne Tyler's Saint Maybe as "one of our century's greatest novels about the church." Also included are thoughtful interpretations of John Updike's In the Beauty of the Lilies and Walker Percy's Love in the Ruins.