The Company of the Creative: A Christian Reader’s Guide to Great Literature and Its Themes

by:  David Larsen

Published by Kregel Publications c.1999

I recently found this book on the shelf at a friend’s house.  I sat down with it, intrigued that David Larsen, a pastor from my childhood, wrote about books.  I had known him to be a great Bible expositor – could he possibly write intelligently about books other than the Bible?

Dumb question!!!

This is an amazing book!  It was fun hearing Larsen’s voice speaking the words on the page in my head – he has such a distinctive style.  Even if I didn’t know what his voice sounded like, the words…ah!  the words!  He is a superb communicator.  He uses language well.  He speaks with passion and persuasion.  I don’t know if I have ever read a book or article in which a pastor begs fellow pastors to read across the spectrum of literature. His many reasons for pastoral literacy are clearly argued and convincing.

His words are not only to pastors – they are written to encourage all believers to read, understand, and enjoy books that many of us would probably never have the interest to pick up for our pleasure.  Larsen highlights authors I would expect (C. S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Dostoyevsky) and quite a few I’ve dismissed as being “worldly” or way too ancient like SInclair Lewis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Pliny the elder, Socrates, and Augustine.

Larsen presents a compelling case for the importance of reading well.