Author World View (cont.)

September 1st, 2015
Finally, The Chosen is unabashedly a Judeo-Christian theistic novel.  What a wild ride! Readers began with the sobering Christian theism of William, Bradford, journeyed through the narcissistic naturalism of John Steinbeck,  and end with the unabashedly and well-written theism of Potok!  Readers had every reason to hope that the next century will bring more and better fruits of righteousness!

Author World View (cont.)

August 27th, 2015

Olive Ann Burns, who herself will stand under a cold sassy tree and face death at an early age, explores the transcendent power of Judeo-Christian love. These characters love with biblical, sacrificial, Christ-centered love–not love tainted by selfishness.  The protagonist and his family overcome genuine, catastrophic obstacles without sentimentalism or facile angst: they do it be following biblical principles of charity and grace.

Author World View (cont.)

August 25th, 2015

These three short stories evidence that the theistic revival among literature is well underway. O’Connor, a solid born again Christian, especially places the theistic banner back on the top of American literature. Porter celebrates the powerful of forgiveness and the endurance of grace. These are not characters who are victims of hateful circumstances (e.g., The Pearl) or cruel happenstances (e.g., Billy Budd).  Even foolish Julian in O’Connor’s short story, and all others, find that in theism, living in within biblical perimeters, one finds life. One hopes that other future authors will follow this worn path.

Author World View (cont.)

August 20th, 2015

John Knowles wrote this theistic novel in the early 1960s.  Before the world was turned upside down in the turbulent race riots and drug infused music concerts of the later 1960s, A Separate Peace was a much needed respite and a foreshadowing of future theistic offerings that were not long in coming. In the literary world, at least, American had turned a corner and was speeding back to its theistic, it not at times, Christian, roots. In that sense, A Separate Peace belongs to the 18th more than the 20th century.

Author World View (cont.)

August 18th, 2015
Arthur Miller was a very talented realist who had a bone to pick with his world.  He used the available but much maligned and misunderstood Salem Witch Trials as his setting.  Ultimately, though, all the characters, John Proctor, especially, is more a 1950 martyr than a 17th century one. Oops! “John,” Elizabeth Proctor says to her husband John, “I do not think you are bad–only bewildered.”

Author World View (cont.)

August 13th, 2015

Tennessee Williams, a controversial 20th century playwright, creates a timeless microcosm of world view mayhem.  Christian theism, romanticism, naturalism, & realism they all clash in  urban Depression era America. Readers, especially Christian readers, are inspired, discouraged, angered, and bemused by characters, especially Tom, who claim to no most everything but, it turns out, know very little about anything! They fumble, tumble, and fantasize through life and ultimately harm both themselves and those around them.  At the end, readers all wonder,  “What if Jesus was Lord of this home?” What a different story it would be!

Author World View (cont.)

August 11th, 2015
Lillian Hellman in her smash Broadway hit exposes, as Edward Albee in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? the facileness and ineptitude of marriage that is not centered on Christ and the Word of God. Again, Hellman borrows biblical characters–the main female character is a Jezebel double–to explore biblical themes–filial betrayal. However, Hellman, like so many of her literary peers, let’s the horse out of the barn but she can’t ride it because one cannot really ameliorate a sacred institution like marriage without the Bible.

Author World View (cont.)

August 6th, 2015

Eugene Gladsone O’Neill, perhaps best 20th century playwright, perhaps without his knowledge, writes a Christian moral expose of the effect of unforgiveness.  Brutus Jones is both the perpetrator and the victim of his woes, which, after all, is a metaphor of modern man. Modern Americans wandered into the cultural mayhem at the end of the 20th century, but, they also caused it. Readers will continually wish to stop the action and to join the play with encouraging words to this lost soul.

Author World View (cont.)

August 4th, 2015

Steinbeck is a naturalist who wrote with an acidic pen.  All his novels had a political agenda, and, many times, his lost protagonists alternately resemble the doomed existentialists  in French novelist Albert Camus’ novels and the  bizarre Christian theists in Flannery O’Connor’s novellas. Steinbeck, a conflicted, desperately unhappy man, with great talent, offers dramatic irony with painful effect. Still, because Steinbeck’s characters are so real, and contemporary, readers will gain glimpses into the soul of modern America and will no doubt harvest important prayer points.

Author World View (cont.)

July 30th, 2015

William Faulkner, like the South, the region in which he wrote and loved so ferevently, is a mixed bag.  Bayard, his protagonist, is clearly a theist, as are all the most admired characters in this novel (e.g., Granny). Goodness, mercy, grace–all Judeo-Christian values–are damaged in translation because, regardless of Faulkner’s able stewardship, these precious gifts cannot be fully transmitted through tradition and good intentions.  Judeo-Christian morality, without biblical underpinnings, are shallow, maudlin traveling companions.  Faulkner and other contemporaries–e.g., Sherwood Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald–all learn that one cannot have one’s cake and eat it too: one cannot live and believe like a godless Philistine and worship the God at Shiloh.