• Catechisms for the Imagination Article by N.D. Wilson

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2013

    What are stories for? Ask an average group of young American narrative consumers this question and they most likely won’t know what you mean. What you’ll likely get are blank faces, shrugs. So, let’s get more specific. What are movies, TV shows, comic books, and novels for? What’s the point? Why watch? Why read? Why do we as a culture bother to spend billions of dollars (and hours) creating and consuming stories? The consensus answer—regardless of whether the kids asked are active and aggressive readers or merely passive imbibers of whatever happens to be on—will almost … View Resource

  • The Chronicles of Narnia Article by Leland Ryken

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    The most important lessons that we can learn from C.S. Lewis’ Narnian Chronicles are the ones that Lewis himself wanted us to learn. It so happens that Lewis said enough about literature in general and the Narnian books in particular that it is possible to read Lewis’ classic children’s stories with the author himself. One of the most important pieces of advice that Lewis gave to readers of literature is that they must receive a work of literature instead of using it. Lewis wrote, “A work of…art can be either ‘received’ or ‘used’. When we ‘receive’ it we exert our … View Resource

  • The Key to C.S. Lewis Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    C.S. Lewis was not only a Christian apologist and lay theologian. He was also an unusually imaginative and creative novelist. And in his day job at Oxford and then Cambridge he was an astonishingly perceptive and influential literary scholar. At a time when the modernist literary establishment was obsessed with depressingly bleak realistic fiction, Lewis sent readers’ imaginations soaring in his Chronicles of Narnia. While the modernists were looking down their noses at popular genre fiction, Lewis was writing the provocative science fiction of his Space Trilogy. In his apologetic and theological writing, Lewis was surprising both non-believers and … View Resource

  • Law, Grace and Redemption in Les Misérables Article by L. Michael Morales

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    Victor Hugo’s monumental novel Les Misérables, first published in 1862, has been compared to a gothic cathedral — and justly so. One comes away from the work with the alternating images of grotesque gargoyles and chipped, mildewed saints, cobwebbed shadows and illuminating shafts of light lingering in the memory. Structurally, the book contains all the intricate, and oft-dizzying, architecture of the late medieval period, along with dark crypts and cold corridors. While one may easily get lost in this literary labyrinth — literally, too, as Jean Valjean, the novel ’s hero, scurries about the streets of Paris with Javert the … View Resource

  • A Literate Ministry Article by T. David Gordon

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2010

    Consider, if you will, how difficult (and sometimes annoying) it is when you encounter computergenerated voice menus when you make telephone calls. The emphasis is almost always on the wrong syllable, the monotonic and a-rhythmic cadence is unnatural, and one would not care to listen to more than small amounts of it. If the present trends continue, all public speech may sound similar to this in the future. In both 2004 and 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts released studies tracing the rise of aliteracy (not illiteracy) in the United States: the phenomenon of people who have the ability … View Resource

  • Turning a New Page: An Interview with Allan Fisher Article by Allan Fisher

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2014

    Tabletalk: How did God call you to the vocation of book editing and publishing? Allan Fisher: God called me to Christian publishing in a variety of ways, only a few of which I will mention here. Through an excellent fourth-grade teacher, I first became a serious reader. During ninth grade I became confident of my God-given academic abilities. Through my new stepfather the following year, I was introduced to an extensive personal library and taken to bookstores, new and used. During my senior year of high school I came to Christ and became a student of the Bible. A college … View Resource

  • What Stories Do Article by Sally Lloyd-Jones

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    Almost overnight, my eight-year-old niece went from being a vivacious little girl who sang her way through life—as if she were singing the soundtrack of her own life the movie—and became a frightened, withdrawn child who spoke so softly you could barely hear her. It was as if she were literally losing her voice, losing herself. And then we found out she was being bullied at school. Later, she told me that she thought she wouldn’t get in trouble if she tried not to be herself. It broke my heart, and I wished she had a book to read … View Resource

  • Writing For God’s Glory Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    Each of us was born with an imagination. Since creation, we have possessed the ability to form unseen images and original ideas in our minds — to visualize neverbefore seen characters and to craft intricately interwoven themes never experienced by anyone at any time in history. With our imaginations, we create stories and thus create imaginary worlds where there are heroes and villains, brave little hobbits, and great white whales. Some stories are historical, and some are fictional. Some stories are told to teach a lesson, and some are told merely to entertain. Throughout history, some stories have been passed … View Resource