James Stanley Barlow Releases PASTOR
"Pastor: A Fictional Reminiscence with Conversations on Religion and Society" (AuthorHouse), by James Stanley Barlow, is the tale of a fictional parish in the 1950s. While airing criticisms of organized religion, the novel focuses on the church's role in our diverse society. It encourages candid and even skeptical discussion within the church itself. Already the book is backed by favorable reviews, including Kirkus and Presbyterian News Service.
"In the light of great social changes since the 1950s, we recognize that society is continually evolving. So too is the way we view religion," says Barlow.
"Pastor" takes readers into the consciousness of Robert Staten, a World War II Air Force Veteran who has chosen to serve the church. A former Presbyterian minister and U.S. Air Force navigator himself, Barlow draws on his own experiences to weave this tale.
Staten conscientiously prepares sermons, visits the sick, counsels, consoles, marries and buries. At the same time he keeps up an ongoing dialogue with his skeptical best friend who tries to persuade him to leave the church. The novel climaxes with a mysterious fire that threatens to disrupt the efforts of the pastor and his wife to make the church succeed.
With "Pastor," Barlow shares his critical but supportive view of religion. He shows how even members of the clergy at times may question their faith. Focusing on emotional truth as well as intellectual integrity, the story invites readers to measure religion not so much by how true or false it may be but by how well it contributes to social health.