Author James Stanley Barlow’s New Book Encourages Conversation

‘Pastor’ looks at the evolving nature of religion.

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With good humor it tells about the ups and downs of real people. While it recognizes imperfections in organized religion, it tries to show its virtues and potential for good in our pluralistic society.

Durham, N.C. (PRWEB) December 16, 2013

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.

“Yes, my book does paint a blemishes-and-all picture of the church,” says Barlow. “With good humor it tells about the ups and downs of real people. While it recognizes imperfections in organized religion, it tries to show its virtues and potential for good in our pluralistic society.”

“Pastor”
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, Tenn. He has served as a Presbyterian minister, U.S. Air Force navigator in World War II and for 31 years as a university professor (U. of Minnesota, Columbia U., CUNY). Barlow is a seasoned observer of religion and an established author. His previous works include “The Fall into Consciousness: An Essay on Religion and Psychology,” “Swimming Laps in August and Other Poems” and “Appalachia and Beyond.”

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