I have formed a new habit in my reading ventures. I’ve traditionally been a non-fiction guy. Over the last 6 years since graduating from seminary (at which point I was liberated to start reading what I wanted to read), my reading has stayed pretty narrowly aligned to subjects related to my vocational calling. Until the last year or so I was reading books on theology, leadership, pastoral ministry, spiritual disciplines, and apologetics almost exclusively. I would depart from these subjects occasionally for a good biography, but that was about it. I never felt like I had time to read fiction. My thought was that it would be a waste of the little valuable reading time I had. Sometime in 2010 that began to change. I picked up the Chronicles of Narnia series (which I’m sure I read as a kid), and I’ve been working through them here and there for the last 18 months or so.
I have found reading fiction to be extremely liberating. It helps me to decompress. My new reading habit is to intersperse fiction into my schedule on weeks leading up to Sunday’s where I am not preaching (like this last Sunday). Reading books that deal with the issues I deal with week after week as a pastor only tends to stress me out when I’m looking for some intellectual down-time.
My fiction book of the week this last week was the seventh and final book of the Chronicles of Narnia series: The Last Battle. I loved it. This is a classic series, and if you haven’t read them or read them to your children, I’d encourage you to do both. I am going to buy a new set of paperbacks and begin working my way back through the series, specifically highlighting the theological undercurrents Lewis weaves throughout. The Last Battle was one of the best of the series, a fitting end (or beginning—depending on how you look at it) to the world of Narnia.
Is this series worth the read? Well, it was written for children, but it has also been the subject of many a doctoral dissertation. I don’t know of too many books that can stake that claim. I don’t have much a review here–just an encouragement to pick up these great books and read them.