Bringing back audio drama

Do any of you remember radio drama?  How about hearing recordings of radio dramas?  Do you listen to “talking books” on car trips?  There is something special about listening to a story-teller, to the power of sheer aural language.  Notice how the experience engages your imagination even as the images come from outside yourself.

Well, some of my former students are teaming up with veteran writer and  producer Phil Lollar, the co-creator of Adventures in Odyssey  (a Christian children’s series of radio dramas that some of you may remember), to create a similar kind of children’s drama, to be entitled “Iliad House.” [Read more…]

The Eye of Sauron

David Rosen and Aaron Santesso, writing in Slate, no less, says that J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings gives us better insight into “the surveillance state” than George Orwell’s 1984. [Read more…]

Man Without a Country

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been stuck in the transit zone of a Russian airport for a week.  The U.S. government cancelled his passport, so he can’t get on another airplane.  He has reportedly applied to 21 countries for asylum, all to no avail.  (Some would take him, but he has to get there first.)  What he should have done is settle in a country that would take him and then out himself as the leaker of the NSA internet and cell phone surveillance scheme.  What he should do now is turn himself in to American authorities and take his punishment like a man.

Still, whether he is a traitor or a hero, I feel sorry for him.  He is truly a Man Without a Country.  (Read that short story by Edward Everett Hale to get your patriotic juices flowing on this Fourth of July.) [Read more…]

All literature can be Christian literature

Tom Hering, in saying kind things about my post on the Lutheran Theology of Culture, commended this piece by Joel J. Miller, What is Christian literature? God’s truth, wherever you find it. :

In a 1997 interview with Books and Culture, William F. Buckley Jr. was asked what thinkers influenced him theologically. “I’m a theological novice,” he answered, “but I simply assume that the Christian prism tends to inform Christians, whatever they are reading.”

All literature, in other words, has the potential to be Christian literature. A believer should be able to find something good, true, and beautiful thumbing through most any book — or at least be reminded of those things by their particular absence. Indeed there is a long tradition in the Christian world of reading books by non-Christians and finding in then both use and enjoyment. . . . [Read more…]

Good books

Summertime, and the living is easy.  A perfect time for reading.  It’s about time for me to reload my Kindle.  I have Lars Walker’s new novel, Hailstone Mountain, which  I’m looking forward to reading, but that won’t get me through the summer.   What books would you recommend?  (Feel free to recommend whatever you want–some one reading this blog is likely to appreciate it–but I myself will be looking not so much for scholarly tomes, of which I get enough during the school year, but lighter fare that is just fun to read.  The only limitation, Lit professor that I am, is that it needs to be well-written.)

Stephen King on Intelligent Design and God

Stephen King is the living master of horror fiction and a pretty darned good writer by any standard.  NPR has an interesting interview with him on the occasion of his new novel, Joyland (which sounds like a good one), in which he affirms his belief in Intelligent Design. [Read more…]