For Further Review…

A brief update to “The Curious Difficulty of Numinous Fiction

A friend (who serves as a missionary in Latvia) shared this comment via my wife’s Facebook page (I, myself, still a Zuckerberg denier):

Here are a couple thoughts in reaction: 1) Maybe one reason American Protestants (I think really it is more of an “evangelical” problem than a protestant one) don’t write better fiction is that there is insufficient market for it. I mean, why does LifeWay sell Thomas Kinkade prints and not better art? 2) Here I am just thinking out loud; this is just an idea for conversation/controversy. You ask: ‘Why is it that those who take the Bible most literally and believe Reformed doctrine most fully write fiction most dreadfully?’ Maybe that is the problem? Evangelicals (again, I think it is more of an evangelical problem than a Protestant one) have a need to read too much literally and insufficiently value symbol, indirection, “telling the truth slant” (to borrow a phrase from Emily Dickinson). And perhaps Reformed doctrine thinks everything can be systemetized into neat boxes, or sees too much in black and white, instead of shades of gray in which real life is lived. I would suggest that neither of those two ways of thinking are helpful for good fiction. By the way, it seems to me that John Updike, John Irving, and Frederick Buechner should figure in the discussion.”

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