Love, War and Religion: Retired Pastor and World War II Veteran Authors New Book

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Novel encourages candid and even skeptical discussion within the church itself.

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In the light of great social changes since the 1950s, the book underscores the fact that society is continually evolving and so too is the way we view religion.

Pastor: A Fictional Reminiscence with Conversations on Religion and Society, by James Stanley Barlow, is the tale of a fictional parish in the 1950’s. 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.

“In the light of great social changes since the 1950s, the book underscores the fact that society is continually evolving and 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, author James Stanley 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.

“My book paints a blemishes and all picture of the church,” says Barlow. “Despite its shortcomings, it plays a positive role in our pluralistic society.”

Pastor: A Fictional Reminiscence with Conversations on Religion and Society
By James Stanley Barlow
ISBN: 978-1-4817-1190-6
Paperback: $19.95
Available at http://www.amazon.com    

About the author

James Stanley Barlow grew up in Johnson City, Tennessee. He has served as a Presbyterian minister, United States Air Force navigator and for 31 years as a university professor. Barlow is a seasoned observer of religion and an established author. His previous works include The Fall into Consciousness, Swimming Laps in August and Other Poems, and Appalachia and Beyond.

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