Faith in More than Matter
Darwinism is partly responsible for the slide into ugliness and formlessness in the arts. It is also a key contributor to the postmodern turn toward a hermeneutics of relativism and nihilism, championed in the deconstructionist criticism of thinkers such as Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. But that’s an essay for another time.
Here, suffice to say that Darwinian materialism’s impoverishing effect on literature is so much of a problem that my alma mater, a Christian university in Texas, published an anthology of literary works that are not nihilistic and materialistic, just to provide balance for the typical literary anthologies assigned to students in freshman and sophomore English.
It’s called Shadow and Light: Literature and the Life of Faith. It includes short stories and poems from various great authors who maintained faith in a cosmos that is more than matter — John Milton, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Flannery O’Connor, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Updike, and various others.
Editor’s note: This essay originally appeared in Salvo Magazine as “Art for Nothing” and is republished here with permission.
The enemy has big mouths, but empty hands.
As such, he can be beaten rather easily, just as something easily beats nothing.
Christians need only pay attention to the world around them, tune out the heavily funded noise machines, and get to work, cheerfully paying the price for victory.
Incidentally: the Noise Machines are relentlessly declining in effectiveness, by the way. As such, there are fewer and fewer reasons to fear, and more and more reasons to fight – after you have paid your dues in the arena you have chosen.
Even in the field of English Literature, victory beckons… after you have decided to stay outside of the University Literature Departments.
Persuading Our Betters is not the goal.
The goal is to build up the creative and intelligent reader, who views the dying culture with distaste, long ago lost faith in Our Betters, and wants something that gives life, not death.