Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fictional Truth

Pursuing Beauty: It is this attraction to loveliness that lies at the heart of nurturing soul. God has made us to be drawn to the beautiful. So often the divide between children who have full souls and those who don’t lies here with the pursuit of beauty. The serious pursuit of beauty, for both children and adults, has a delightfully amplifying effect on all other areas of life. It makes us better at everything else, whether that be theology, engineering, homemaking, or plumbing. The connection here is quite mysterious, but it’s often quite radical. Poetry, music, and fiction can utterly transform the coldest logician, computer programmer, or colonel into someone with soul....

“Children should be almost criminal in their love of stories. If they aren’t regularly begging you for stories, even after you seem to have been reading all day, then something may be wrong with them. They live and grow by means of narrative, especially fiction....

“Stories frame a child’s interior life for living in this world. Fiction is far more realistic than we realize. Fiction and poetry mysteriously transfer truth in a far more powerful way than anything else. God Himself chose to write in passionate poetry and narrative and parables rather than in the bureaucratic style of a systematic theology.” (Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth, Douglas Jones and Douglas Wilson, pp. 123, 124)

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