The so called “great books” are not necessarily good books. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter was required reading when I was in high school. It is apostate fiction, a caricature of Puritan culture and theology. One of the most terrifying things you could hear from your peers was, «Don’t be so puritanical.» It was an invitation to immorality, lawlessness. Still is. Other great literature of this ilk that I had to read in high school: Huckleberry Fin, The Crucible, and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
In college I had to read a long book about Lawrence of Arabia. Great adventure story but the professor had to make a point of the hero’s alleged latent masochistic homosexuality. I figured out that is what the prof wanted to hear and asked him about it. He confirmed it. Gave me the creeps, both the idea and the professor, but I got an A in the course.
I’m reading «Apostate – The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West.» Very enlightening and very sad. I recommend you read it.
As I piece together the required reading list of English literature from my high school days it occurs to me all of it was apostate and downright evangelical about it. Now we have a gospel of faith without repentance filled with phrases like, «God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,» and «Christianity is a relationship not a religion.»
I wonder how many Christians who are so unreasonably opposed to the application of God’s law to all of life have been influenced by these books. What I have heard them say about God’s law for our times certainly seems to be more informed by Hawthorne et al than by actually reading Rushdoony, Bahnsen, North and other authors who have writing on the subject.
We need to retake this area by encouraging our folks who are gifted writers to write good fiction that testifies, “About repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:21) One way to do that is to buy and read what they write. A friend, Martin Selbrede, is taking a shot at it, «Hidden in Plain Sight.» I recommend you buy it and read it.