Ryken on Christian literature

The intellectual usefulness of literature is not that it necessarily tells us the truth about an issue but rather that it serves as a catalyst to thinking about the great issues of life. If this is true, we can also see how misguided has been the frequent assumption that it is the task of Christian literary criticism to show that works of literature are Christian. The task is rather to assess whether and to what degree works are Christian in their viewpoint. Christian enthusiasts for literature too often seek to baptize every work of literature that they love.

Been reading articles in Dr. Leland Ryken’s anthology of works on literature and the Christian imagination, called “The Christian Imagination.”  Writers like JRR Tolkien, Francish Schaeffer, Annie Dillard, George MacDonald and others weigh in on the conversation.

Leland Ryken is professor of English at Wheaton College, and was the stylistic consultant for the ESV, and who authored “The ESV and the English Bible Legacy” which I highly recommend, if you’re the least bit interested in the heritage of our English Bible.

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