My sixth grade teacher wrote on my report card that I was a “voracious" reader. He apparently was as well, because sixth-grade me did not know what voracious meant. However, it was an accurate description, as I tore through books and series. I can’t claim that everything I read was high literature, however. I read Nancy Drew mysteries, Sweet Valley High (which even then I knew was a little trashy), as well as endless installments of the Babysitters Club books. As far as favorite childhood books, I LOVED Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing where poor Peter Hatcher’s life is pretty much hijacked by anything his cute but obnoxious little brother Fudge decides to do. As an adult, my preferences for reading tend toward either literary memoir or books for spiritual and theological reflection; lots of Ruth Haley Barton and Eugene Peterson line my bookshelves.
So, why a podcast about pastors who read books? At a time when there’s seemingly a scandal in every pulpit, YPRB seeks to restore the title of “pastor,”—one thoughtful conversation at a time. Genuine Christian life and Christian leadership require "brains and all" (as C.S. Lewis wrote). Listen here for conversations about the books pastors are reading that are helping to shape them into whole-hearted followers of Jesus and healthier givers of spiritual care to others.
Not only should Christians be reading their Bibles, but we should be engaging with worthy writers and thinkers who not only challenge us to grow in our faith but also help us to see its beauty. This can happen whether or not an author sets out to write an explicitly Christian book or not, which is why you’ll hear pastors on this show talk about books of history, fiction, memoir, and other genres, as well as spiritual writing.
Is this a podcast just for leaders and pastors? Not at all! I hope that, if you’re a follower of Christ, you will gain insights, wisdom and book recommendations brought by the pastors who join us here. My prayer is that this content encourages and enriches your journey of faith, regardless of whether or not you hold a title as a lay leader or professional minister. And, perhaps we'll help some worthy writers sell a few more copies of their books!