Dr. Melody Green, Dean of Urbana Theological Seminary, is the organizer of the 5th annual Tolkien Conference. She herself is a literature scholar, having published and researched on the works of Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and George MacDonald. The 2016 Conference is November 5 at Grace Community Church in Champaign, Illinois. Please visit www.tolkienconference.com for registration info and topics to be presented. This episode's conversation focuses on the conference, the place of Tolkien's work in today's world, and a side chat about Lewis' enigmatic novel Till We Have Faces.
In the latest "Dialogue With Brandon," Brandon and I discuss what it takes to make a great novel. We are both attempting to write a novel and so we hammer out what makes for great plot and great characters. Is it OK to use cliches? Should our characters be composites of real people we know? Should we use brand names of different products and stores? On and on we go in pursuit of the Great American Novel.
Dr. Michael Danner is the Executive Minister of the Illinois Mennonite Conference. I invited him on the podcast to discuss a "liberal Christian" political perspective, but soon realized he was instead offering me an Anabaptist Christian perspective. While discussing pacifism, "socialism", abortion, and free market capitalism, Michael lays out how the Church can declare the coming Kingdom in the political realm by following in the way of Jesus.