I wonder . . . what novel deepened your faith?
For me one of the great joys of ministry is being paid to read. And I donâ€™t mean only the scholarly commentaries or theological tomes. With respect to heavyweights like Bultmann or Brueggemann, please, give me a novel!
Some novels rocked my faith. And though I could list many, hereâ€™s one: John Irvingâ€™s CIDER HOUSE RULES. To this day I can recall reading the section where Dr. Larch reflected on abortion. Part of his pondering included his â€œbeliefâ€ that there was really no way to know when life began . . . that some peopleâ€”fully grown and completely â€œadultâ€â€”were still not yet human, not yet â€œborn.â€ Maybe they were cruel, selfish, or manipulative. Agree with Dr. Larch or not, Irvingâ€™s novel caused me to view abortion, and how people of faith may approach it, as complex . . . and never an â€œagreeâ€ or â€œdisagreeâ€ issue.
Fiction. Itâ€™s not real . . . but really, isnâ€™t it? Even though Iâ€™ve read or heard the â€œGood Samaritanâ€ parable at least a thousand times, it still jars and jangles me. (But itâ€™s only fiction!) Revelatory fiction is like that. I remember Dr. Larchâ€™s dilemma . . . when is someone truly, really born? When is someone human enough to be selfless and always ready to forgive?
What novel has shaped or reshaped your faith?