For Christian readers interested in keeping up with current thinking, the challenge isn't finding enough good material; it's how to find enough time to read it all. Best-seller lists and book reviews can help, but what we really need is a friendly guide who reads widely and can introduce us personally to the authors, and even let them talk to us in their own words.
Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio fits that job description perfectly. A veteran of NPR news and several Christian publishers, Mr. Myers produces a bimonthly audio interview program featuring 20- to 30-minute conversations on topics ranging from current events to the Bible, and from the fathers of the church to today's theological trends. The interviewees are pastors and scholars, including such luminaries as N.T. Wright, Mark Noll, Dana Gioia, Christian Smith, Mary Eberstadt, Stanley Hawerwas, and many more. Along with the book conversations, there's generally a segment on church music, and another on literature. If you're like me, you'll listen to the segments more than once.
For example, here's the lineup from a recent edition commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:
1. Thomas Albert Howard, on the history of commemorating the Reformation;
2. Mark Noll, on how the Reformers would want to be remembered;
3. Andrew Pettegree, on how Martin Luther transformed the printing industry;
4. Peter J. Leithart, on the biblical basis for the unity of the Church;
5. Norman Klassen, on the political theology implicit in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales;
6. James Litton, on the life and work of hymnologist, Erik Routley;
7. Joseph O'Brien, on the neglected literary achievements of J. F. Powers.
I first subscribed to MHA over 20 years ago, when CDs were a new thing and the program was on its 24th edition. The current edition is the 137th and it streams in MP3. The website is www.marshillaudio.org
for a free sample and ways to subscribe.