The Prophetic Voice in Modern Fiction

The Prophetic Voice in Modern Fiction

The Prophetic Voice in Modern Fiction

The Prophetic Voice in Modern Fiction

Excerpt

Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes, and gives birth to the other. (Opening sentences of John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion)

This book would never have been written without the conviction that a study of its subject matter, six modern novels and their relationship to the Bible, is worth the attention of any midtwentieth-century person who would grow in "true and solid wisdom." Wisdom remains, four hundred years after Calvin's definition, that knowledge of ourselves which convinces us of our sin and that knowledge of God which is our salvation. And it is frequently true that a man may come most directly to a knowledge of himself when he sees himself anatomized in a contemporary setting and in an idiom, a language, which is of his own time. The voices of the past few decades which have pierced most decisively to the heart of the matter, penetrating most deeply into the anxieties of our generation and expressing most precisely our fears and hopes, have been those of the literary artists, and it is perhaps above all in the modern . . .

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