Review: The Penn of Denn, by Denn Guptill

The Penn of Denn, by Denn Guptill

The Penn of Denn, by Denn Guptill (Forever Books, 2009)

Denn Guptill has a gift for picking up on something newsworthy or current, adding a bit of humour or common sense, and finding a spiritual application. The Penn of Denn will make you smile, nod, scratch your head, perhaps even pray.

Subtitled “The world through Denn coloured glasses,” this book is a compilation of Canadian author Denn Guptill’s thoughts on a variety of subjects: church, sports, nature, celebrities, politics, etc.

Most of the brief readings (each less than a page) first saw print in the Bedford Community Church bulletin (Nova Scotia, Canada), where Denn was pastor at the time. A few longer ones are from his sailing column, “Aboat Time”.

Because it’s the writings of a pastor to his people (and now shared with us), there is talk of sin, grace, forgiveness… perennial Christian subjects. There is no finger-pointing or blaming, but there is a compassionate desire for all to experience the awareness of God’s grace. Sometimes that comes out in a plea for Christians to share the news of the spiritual life they’ve been given.

Since this is a collection of writings to a particular congregation over a period of years, some selections refer to old or local news. The principles still apply. Not everyone’s writings could translate to the larger audience, but Denn Guptill’s do. I think it’s because he speaks to common issues in a conversational way.

Reading The Penn of Denn is a bit like sitting with the author for tea and a friendly chat. The content isn’t heavy, but it isn’t fluff either. It’s the stuff of everyday life.

The Penn of Denn is available at, and Barnes and Noble. To learn more about the author and read the latest weekly instalments of The Penn, visit his blog, The Penn of Denn.

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