Ragan Courtney’s second volume of poetry explores issues common to many Christ-followers: how do we build our faith in God? How do we encourage others’ faith journeys? How do we walk humbly with God? How do we trust God to be God? As Courtney writes in the preface, he offers his “thoughts, questions, hopes, doubts, and epiphanies” on these questions so he will be “as a little water soaking the soil and making a muddy, ruddy clay . . . [because] if God still does things with clay . . . I want to be available, pliable, and ready.”
I have been reading the poems of Ragan Courtney for more than forty years. With Do You Still Do Things with Clay?, Ragan is at his rawest, most vulnerable, and best. He humbly captures the confusion, despair, comfort, and hope that come only through the painful questioning of God and pleading for his truth, love, grace, and mercy.
New York Times Bestselling Author
The poet’s work is always the same: to scramble and shuffle our programed prose so that we might see truth afresh. We have learned to trust the Holy Spirit to work through Ragan Courtney to do this for us. And, indeed, it has happened again. It is difficult to read the poetry of Ragan Courtney because the mirror that he holds up before us places our actual image against the backdrop of blinding gospel truth. But we must read it, for his poetry challenges us to humility, to honesty, and to commitment to a gritty gospel. Ragan’s poetry just might change the reader’s identity from Christian to Christ-follower.
—Terry W. York
George W. Truett Theological Seminary
Both Ragan Courtney’s deep humility and his gigantic understanding of life are reflected here in his marvelous poetry. Along the way he always manages to tickle God’s funny bone and stab the heart with his rich passion as he offers insight after insight into the meaning of life. I shall read these poems every morning for the rest of my life.
Composer and Record Producer