Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Purpose

My idea for this blog is simple - I will be looking at contemporary and classic literary fiction through the lense of Christianity.

To understand this, I'll have to disclose my own background. I am a born again Christian who was saved at the age of seven in a Southern Baptist Church. I am an ordained deacon and a Sunday School teacher. My theological background would probably be considered "fundamentalist," though I think that term has been largely demonized.

But to sum up - I believe the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus Christ are accurate. I believe in the tenants of what is known as the Apostle's Creed - the virgin birth of Jesus, His earthly life and ministry, His death and resurrection, and His return. I accept the Bible as God's written word. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to change hearts, to forgive sins, and to give peace. I also believe that we, as Christians, are taught to "be transformed by their renewing" of our minds. (Romans 12:2) In so doing, we can better understand God's perfect will for our lives.

But I also enjoy literature - specifically its power to conjure up a particular time and place and help us inhabit the minds of others. As a character in the movie "Shadowlands" observes, "We read to know we're not alone." I think it's worth studying, this difference between literary truth - made up stories - and literal truth - the facts of daily life. What literature aims for is essentially what Picasso said of art, that it is "a lie that tells us the truth." What I hope to accomplish here is to share some of my own thoughts in reading, mixed with a lifetime's study of the Bible. That doesn't always mean I'll be studying books that would be considered "Christian" in character or worldview - in fact, it may mean the opposite. I do not mean to say we can understand God better this way - but we may understand mankind better, and how it tries to understand the world apart from Jesus Christ.

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