Best of Series,  Interviews,  Show Notes

Episode 173: The “Best of” Series – Why Pastors Should Read Fiction, Ep. 137

This week on The Literary Life podcast with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks, we have a very special episode for you. Our hosts are joined by guests Dan Bunting and Anthony Dodgers, both of whom are pastors, for a discussion on why pastors should read fiction books. Dan is also host of the the Reading the Psalms podcast. Angelina starts off the conversation by asking why these men would prioritize taking literature classes. Anthony shares about his own literary life journey and how rediscovering literature has helped him personally. Dan talks about the book club that he and a couple of his pastor friends have and what kinds of books they read together. They discuss many other deep topics and crucial questions that we hope will be encouraging and thought-provoking to everyone who listens to and shares this episode.

If you want to get the replays of the 2022 Back to School Conference, “Education: Myths and Legends” with special guest speakers Lynn Bruce and Caitlin Beauchamp, along with our hosts Cindy Rollins, Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks, you can learn more at Morning Time for Moms.

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Commonplace Quotes:

If education is beaten by training, civilization dies.

C. S. Lewis, from “Our English Syllabus”

How am I a hog and me both?

Flannery O’Connor

He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.

Freidrich Schiller

Whoever wants to become a Christian, must first become a poet.

St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia

It is hard to have patience with those Jeremiahs, in press or pulpit, who warn us that we are “relapsing into paganism”. It might be rather fun if we were. It would be pleasant to see some future Prime Minister trying to kill a large and lively milk-white bull in Westminster Hall. But we shan’t. What lurks behind such idle prophecies, if they are anything but careless language, is the false idea that the historical process allows mere reversal; that Europe can come out of Christianity “by the same door as in she went”, and find herself back where she was. It is not what happens. A post-Christian man is not a Pagan; you might as well think that a married woman recovers her virginity by divorce. The post-Christian is cut off from the Christian past, and therefore doubly from the Pagan past.

C. S. Lewis, from “De Descriptione Temporum”

A Boy in Church

by Robert Graves

‘Gabble-gabble, . . . brethren, . . . gabble-gabble!’
    My window frames forest and heather.
I hardly hear the tuneful babble,
    Not knowing nor much caring whether
The text is praise or exhortation,
Prayer or thanksgiving, or damnation.
Outside it blows wetter and wetter,
    The tossing trees never stay still.
I shift my elbows to catch better
    The full round sweep of heathered hill.
The tortured copse bends to and fro
In silence like a shadow-show.
The parson’s voice runs like a river
    Over smooth rocks, I like this church:
The pews are staid, they never shiver,
    They never bend or sway or lurch.
‘Prayer,’ says the kind voice, ‘is a chain
That draws down Grace from Heaven again.’
I add the hymns up, over and over,
    Until there’s not the least mistake.
Seven-seventy-one. (Look! there’s a plover!
    It’s gone!) Who’s that Saint by the lake?
The red light from his mantle passes
Across the broad memorial brasses.
It’s pleasant here for dreams and thinking,
    Lolling and letting reason nod,
With ugly serious people linking
    Sad prayers to a forgiving God . . . .
But a dumb blast sets the trees swaying
With furious zeal like madmen praying.

Book List:

Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh

Asterix Comics by René Goscinny

Tin Tin by Herge

Sigrid Undset

Giants in the Earth by Ole Rolvaag

Roald Dahl

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

John Donne

George Herbert

The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré

Graham Greene

Alfred Lord Tennyson

The New Oxford Book of Christian Verse edited by Donald Davie

Waiting on the Word by Malcolm Guite

Word in the Wilderness by Malcolm Guite

Neil Gaiman

Bill Bryson

Ursula Le Guin

Terry Pratchett

Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis

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