I will admit, sometimes I feel insecure because I love fiction. When I ask people what they read and they tell me non-fiction, self help, autobiographies…I automatically classify them as intelligent. More intelligent.
I’m taken right back to grade school: “Hilarey has so much potential, if only she would stop daydreaming.”
Apparently I could be smart if I got my head out of the clouds.
Of course fiction writers always comment that Jesus used parables to teach. But the principle still applies. Maybe mankind needs word pictures to be able to understand anything.
The other night my son told me the 1940 Superman radio show aired a 16-episode battle between Superman and the Ku Klux Klan. It began to unravel the mystery and exposed secrets, codes and rituals. (We listened for awhile but had to turn it off because the craving for sunshine cereal grew so intense.)
My personal opinion is fiction works because man is proud, not (necessarily always incredibly) stupid. When you put something into a story — we’re taken off guard and will receive it for what it is.
Ideas can penetrate our heart when we drop the “I already know what I believe” barrier. Take the story in 2 Samuel 12 for example, when Nathan tells David about a rich man with a large herd who slaughtered a poor man’s only lamb. David saw truth because he wasn’t busy justifying his own actions.
Sometimes the ideas you get are what the author believed, but this doesn’t make me limit myself to my denomination’s approved paperbacks. (I’ve lightened up on this over the years. Someday I might even read Harry Potter.)
I know a woman who began to seek Jesus after she read Steinbeck’s East of Eden. I think she described it as “man’s depravity made her desire God.”
I think I can relax on the fiction inferiority complex too, after all, it defeated the KKK .