Literature and the Power of the Imaginative Christian
Hello, I know that it has been a long time since my last post but being a full-time college student is busy. Therefore I thought I would pass on some thoughts I had about the power of literature and the Christian life as my freshmen year of college comes to a close within the next two weeks. It is merely something I ask you, readers, to consider; I know that it’s a little different from my regular review. However, please know that if you read this, I am not in any way asking you to agree with my beliefs or my opinions. Your belief system and views are your own to decide not mine.
The two worlds of literature and the imagination have always been intertwined with each other from the very beginning of time. In my mind, it is impossible for even the concept of literature to exist without imagination.In fact, the world that we live in would not be in existence without imagination and creativity. God is the most creative and imaginative being I have ever had the privilege of knowing. It was His imagination and creativity that brought the creation of the world about in the first place. To create the world, He had to come up with every idea from scratch because He did not have anyone who came before him who had formed anything.
Therefore, knowing that nothing had come before God and everything that happened after he was created and shaped by God, makes me conclude that He is the most significant artist and author that I have ever seen the work of. From the beginning of time, God created humanity to have free will and likewise He created them to be creative. Humankind was not created by God as a second thought or to be clones of one another. It Is true that humanity was created in “the image of God,” but it is also true that God took the time to personally shape every detail about who I am as an individual. This means no two people are ever the same even if they are identical twins.The same is correct about how each person chooses to live out their walk with Christ in their lifetime here on earth. My faith walk is different from the person who sits next to me in every one of my classes here at Simpson.
Literature, in my opinion, is one of the many ways that the Lord chooses to communicate his purpose for my life and his redemptive power for all of his people throughout history. God wrote the most beautiful book in history, which is known as the bible. Throughout every short story, novel or play there lies within its pages the story of redemption even if it is not blatantly looking the reader in the face. Even when an author is unaware of the redemption storyline being present in their novel God places it there for everyone to see and experience. The idea that God could write a book that combines every single genre of literature in one work of writing is both fascinating and beautiful to me as an English major. It would be nearly impossible for an ordinary writer to incorporate every genre into a single piece of literature. Therefore the fact that an individual storyline about the redemptive power of love is successfully communicated throughout all sixty-six books of the Bible is impressive.
Literature in all of its forms is a reflection of the human experience and how we choose to live it out in our everyday lives. As Christians living and working alongside Christ, we are called to be knowledgeable about what the bible says.On the surface level living, the Christian life asks believers to in some way receive the word of God instead it be oral, by turning pages or in some other form. In some way, though we are asked to know the literature that the Lord has provided us with. Then we are expected to take what we read in the bible and apply it to our own lives because if we do not practice what we believe through our actions faith ceases to be real. If I sit and think about all of the written work that either writer before me have created or that I have written myself nothing is original in origin except that which is created by the Lord.
The heavenly father is the one that places most ideas in our heads, and then we as creatures of free will get to decide what to do with what we are given. However, when we as human beings choose not to do anything creatively with the ideas that are gifted to us by God, I believe that we are not living the lives that we are meant to live as Christians. Our imagination is one of the ways we are able to express ourselves for the kingdom of God, and something is lost to our soul when it is not being used. Personally, I believe imagination and creativity can play out in the way we worship as well as in the different ways that we show love to one another.
The most fundamental belief of the Christian life is showing love to all people and the truth is each person experiences love in different ways. Therefore, I can love people by sharing my personal love of books with them by physically giving them the book to read. Or on a deeper level, I can love better solely based on the idea that by reading literature I have a better understanding of the world around me and I am more empathetic as a result. The world of literature was created by God to be universal.
This means that stories and the boundless imaginations that create them are ageless. As a result, these stories instead they are written down on paper or told orally by mouth transcend cultural barriers and languages. Similarly, the Story of Christ is not confined by time, Language, place or by the medium in which it is told because its power is unending.
A person’s imagination, therefore, has great power when it comes to sharing the Gospel because there are a number of ways that the Christian life can be reflected in the art form that is literature. The imagination has the power to take the message of Christ to anyone no matter their age. For example, the Chronicles of Narnia series has been pointing readers to the love of Christ for years and some who choose to read it may not ever be aware of its influence.Therefore, it is my opinion that literature and the imaginations of human beings hold more love and power in them then the world may ever realize