Literature is an influential part of me. What I'd like to do is go through the list of my "significant books" and write about each. This list doesn't necessarily contain my "favorite" books. It's the books that have significantly shaped the way I think, contributed to my philosophy, or introduced important ideas to me. I thought this would be the best place for me to begin this new blog of mine.

The Holy Bible.

This is the one that I've read, listened to, studied, prayed, pondered, argued over, and loved the most. :) I grew up on it, memorized it as a child, practiced my penmanship with it, got chastised with it, and listened to hundreds of sermons on it. It would be impossible to extract it from my life and me remain the same person.

From a literary point of view, it contains all the things that I love. It's a historical masterpiece. Not only that, but it tells the story of a family. One of my favorite series as a child was something like "American Adventures" that began with two children going on the Mayflower. The next book was about their children, the next about theirs, and so on. I found it so fascinating! The Bible begins with the first man, continues with his children, and goes on to give the story of their descendants (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the 12 tribes of Israel). It follows the line of the Hebrews till it comes to the crux - Christ, on whom the fates of all humanity depend. It's the story of the whole human family - the ultimate genealogy!

One of the biggest things that I look for in any story is an ending that comes out of the beginning. (This is the main reason why you'll see Les Miserables is on my list...more on that when I get to it). A good story is bookended, crafting a conflict and resolving it. The Scriptures have the ultimate plot conflict: human sin, and the ultimate plot resolution: Christ. The entire Old Testament is a masterful story of the Hebrews and their struggles. The New Testament answers the Old, reconciling men to God, and ends with a ravishing prophecy of that eternal reconciliation.

A good book will also cause the reader to reflect on themselves and on the world, and will challenge the person to change them in some way. What could be more radical than the challenge to become like the crucified Christ?

The symbolism is deep and the foreshadowing ingenious. Any lover of literature must be in awe of the creative mystery conceived by the Scriptures.

I want to end with this profound quote from C.S. Lewis (a man whose books have influenced my philosophy tremendously). He wrote it in a letter to his friend Arthur Greeves in fall of 1931, talking about the Gospel as it stands in relation to other human stories (or rather, mythologies):

"Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same
way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened:
and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is
God’s myth where the others are men’s myths: i.e. the Pagan stories are God
expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found
there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call “real
things”. Therefore it is true, not in the sense of being a “description” of God
(that no finite mind could take in) but in the sense of being the way in which
God chooses to (or can) appear to our faculties."
I suppose this is why humanity is so attracted to stories, because they mirror this beautiful "true myth" that God wrote. I only wish that more people could appreciate and love it as much as I've learned to love it.

A Reunion

Ever since we became acquainted 3 years ago, Blogging and I have had a relationship similar to many typical human friendships. Initial fascination, enthusiastic infatuation, occasional friendly familiarity, and finally, the disregard that comes from long absence all took their turns.

Why am I reviving the relationship? Maybe it's because I just because I like the feeling of having a fresh slate. Trouble is, slates don't stay fresh for very long. They often becomes a bore (or even a chore) after a while. But I know that learning to follow through on things is a lesson I need. [Plus, writing is one of the few things that I can do halfway decently, and it would be a pity if I neglected it any longer.]

So, Blogging, here I am again. We have some fond memories together and some strange ones. This reunion is for better or for worse, but I'm holding out for the better. ;)

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