Through the Church Door illuminates the relevance and importance of the church in today's society. Through personal experiences as both a university professor of literature and an ordained minister, Simonson shows us that the church serves those both within and outside its doors. The church door presents a metaphor for the paradoxes of life: entrance/exit, outside/inside, secular/sacred, closed in tradition/opened in Christ. Simonson explores these with informal style and anecdotes threaded with ruminations. Allusions span literary as well as theological and biblical references. ""Harold Simonson's Through the Church Door is an engaging and rewarding book, reflecting the soul of one who has thought deeply about the Gospel and the life that it inspires. Simonson's background-a Professor of English and in his later years an ordained minister-enables him to move comfortably in the realms of both literature and theology, bringing all the more insight to his subject. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about connecting one's faith with one's daily life."" --Paul T. Jersild Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Emeritus ""Harold Simonson's Through the Church Door covers a six-month period when he served as an interim pastor, but it encompasses a lifetime. The book is comprised of seven meditations which chart a pilgrim's progress into the world of suffering, loss, and grief and toward the redemptive power of grace. The book is rich in the way poetry is rich. For Simonson has the soul of a poet and the poet's eye and ear. Penetrating richness of detail is woven into cadences so resonant that the prose attains the compression, beauty, and intensity of poetry itself. This is a book for the heart and the spirit."" --Ann Putnam, University of Puget Sound ""Church doors are passage ways and so too, says Simonson, are words which ""are honest only when earned."" In this intense little book, he meditates on theological words and themes that have framed a lifetime of teaching, as an admired professor, and in retirement as a Congregational minister. Honesty requires troubling complacent students with the ambiguities of Hawthorne and Melville, and comforting the troubled in smoky bars and at hospital beds. Honest language leads to freedom, something he starkly reveals at the end of this book."" --James W. Green University of Washington Harold P. Simonson is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Washington. He is the author of The Closed Frontier: Studies in American Tragedy, Jonathan Edwards: Theologian of the Heart, and Radical Discontinuities: American Romanticism and Christian Consciousness. He holds a PhD from Northwestern University and a BPhil in Divinity from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.