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About Holly Ordway
Dr. Holly Ordway is Fellow of Faith and Culture at the Word on Fire Institute, and Visiting Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith, and Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms, and has contributed chapters to volumes such as C.S. Lewis at Poets' Corner, The Inklings and King Arthur, The Story of the Cosmos, and Pivotal Players. She is also a subject editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies, and a published poet. Her newest book is Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (Word on Fire Academic, 2021). Her website is hollyordway.com. Author photo copyright: www.lanciaesmith.com
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Titles By Holly Ordway
How can we share the Gospel and make disciples in our modern culture? Many people, including young people from Christian homes, are walking away from the faith, or have never had it presented to them in a compelling manner. However, our polemical, distracted media environment makes it difficult to have thoughtful discussions about anything. In this context, literature and the arts have a powerful role to play by providing an engaging and inviting way to share the Christian faith.
In Tales of Faith, Holly Ordway shows how literature—and especially old literature—can foster fruitful discussions that allow us to meet people where they are and help them move closer to knowing Christ, or to knowing and loving him more fully and deeply. Here, readers will find a practical, accessible guide to using literature to discuss topics such as the nature of God, virtues and vices, the Crucifixion, longing and sadness, and much more. For each literary text, Ordway provides an introductory essay, a selection from the text (or the whole poem for short pieces), questions for discussion or personal reflection, activities, and recommended resources.
Drawing from ancient classics like the Odyssey and the Aeneid and medieval masterpieces like Beowulf and the Divine Comedy, and providing both practical advice and spiritual guidance for the reader, Tales of Faith offers teachers, parents, and all lovers of classic literature an invaluable resource for sharing the faith through story.
In fact, as Holly Ordway demonstrates in this major corrective, Tolkien enjoyed a broad range of contemporary works, engaged with them in detail and depth, and even named specific titles as sources for and influences upon his creation of Middle-earth.
Drawing on meticulous archival research, Ordway shows how Tolkien appreciated authors as diverse as James Joyce and Beatrix Potter, Rider Haggard and Edith Nesbit, William Morris and Kenneth Grahame. She surveys the work of figures such as S.R. Crockett and J.H. Shorthouse, who are forgotten now but made a significant impression on Tolkien. He even read Americans like Longfellow and Sinclair Lewis, assimilating what he read in characteristically complex ways, both as positive example and as influence-by-opposition.
Tolkien's Modern Reading not only enables a clearer understanding of Tolkien's epic, it also illuminates his views on topics such as technology, women, empire, and race. For Tolkien's genius was not simply backward-looking: it was intimately connected with the literature of his own time and concerned with the issues and crises of modernity. Ordway's ground-breaking study reveals that Tolkien brought to the workings of his fantastic imagination a deep knowledge of both the facts and the fictions of the modern world.
In Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith, Holly Ordway shows how an imaginative approach—in cooperation with rational arguments—is extremely valuable in helping people come to faith in Christ. Making a case for the role of imagination in apologetics, this book proposes ways to create meaning for Christian language in a culture that no longer understands words like ‘sin’ or ‘salvation,' suggests how to discern and address the manipulation of language, and shows how metaphor and narrative work in powerful ways to communicate the truth. It applies these concepts to specific, key apologetics issues, including suffering, doubt, and longing for meaning and beauty.
Apologetics and the Christian Imagination shows how Christians can harness the power of the imagination to share the Faith in meaningful, effective ways.
Esta es la historia de una académica, una intelectual sin influencias religiosas evidentes de ninguna clase, que llega a un momento de silencio interior en su vida sin que medie ninguna situación especialmente traumática y se plantea el interrogante, con mayúsculas, al que se enfrenta el ser humano: ¿qué hay después de la muerte?
This is the story of a glorious defeat.
Ordway, an atheist academic, was convinced that faith was superstitious nonsense. As a well-educated college English professor, she saw no need for just-so stories about God. Secure in her fortress of atheism, she was safe (or so she thought) from any assault by irrational faith.
So what happened? How did she come to “lay down her arms” in surrender to Christ and then, a few years later, enter the Catholic Church?
This is the moving account of her unusual journey. It is the story of an academic becoming convinced of the truth of Christianity on rational grounds — but also the account of God’s grace acting in and through her imagination.
It is the tale of an unfolding, developing relationship with God — told with directness and honesty — and of a painful surrender at the foot of the Cross. It is the account of a lifelong, transformative love of reading and the story of how a competitive fencer put down her sabre to pick up the sword of the Spirit.
Above all, this book is a tale of grace, acting in and through human beings but always issuing from God and leading back to Him. And it is the story of a woman being brought home.