Church history provides much evidence for an antipathy and hostility on the part of Christians toward literature.

ENGL 102

Lecture Notes: Lesson 3
The Importance of the Study of Literature to the Christian
1. Church history provides much evidence for an antipathy and hostility on the

part of Christians toward literature.

0. The early Church

0. Tertullian

0. Augustine

0. The Puritans

1. Richard Baxter

1. Cotton Mather

1. Charles Spurgeon

0. Contemporary examples:

2. Bible institutes

2. Drug rehabilitation centers

1. Secular antipathy is also now growing against the study of literature.

1. The apotheosis (i.e., raising to the level of a god) of technology

1. The drift of liberal arts institutions toward vocational education

1. Economic pressures on the humanities (i.e., the argument of utilitarianism)

1. The drift toward an illiterate society

1. Arguments can be raised, however, in favor of the study of literature as a legitimate Christian pursuit.

2. A rescue from the trap of mindless amusement

2. A wealth of insight into the plight of our world and the needs of our

contemporaries

2. A hermeneutic aid to Bible study (N.B.—Christianity is a book religion. The Bible is a work of literature, and an understanding of literature increases our understanding of Scripture.)

2. A sharpening of our own theological focus

3. F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. D. H. Lawrence

3. G. B. Shaw

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