On Wendell Berry’s birthday, Southern Baptist big Russell Moore explains why Christians should read Hannah Coulter, the Berry novel Moore considers to be the Kentuckian’s best. Excerpt:

I think fiction is good, necessary, and God-glorifying. I teach my theology students to read good fiction for the sake of their preaching, if for no other reason. Those without the imagination to read fiction usually lack the imagination to hear the rhythm and contours of Scripture, much less to peer into the mysteries of the human heart. I just think schlocky fiction does just the opposite of all of that. I also think human love is a more than worthy subject of writing, including Christian writing. I just think it should be done with authenticity and honesty, and should look at love, not the hormonal utopia our culture has taught us to long for. I can think of no better contemporary example of doing this well than Hannah Coulter.