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Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature

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by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.

It is generally pretty easy to get Christians to be concerned about the movies and TV shows that they and their family watch, but what about the books that they read? Most parents, Christian and non-Christian alike, are usually more than happy to have their children turn off the television to read, but how often do we stop to ask what our children are reading--and learning from what they are reading. While it's true that we have become an audio and video dominated culture, this doesn't mean that we can combat the anti-Christian worldviews being promoted through visual media by simply picking up a book and reading. Authors have just as much desire to influence their readers as the movie director and the television producer have to influence their audience. It's time for Christians to be discerning, not only about what they see and hear on video screens, but also what they read in books and magazines.

Here is a guidebook for those who want to learn how to recognize books that are spiritually and aesthetically good--to cultivate good literary taste. Gene Edward Veith presents basic information to help book lovers understand what they read--from the classics to the bestsellers. He explains how the major genres of literature communicate. He explores ways comedy, tragedy, realism, and fantasy can portray the Christian worldview. These discussions lead to a host of related topics--the value of fairy tales for children, the tragic and the comic sense of life, the interplay between Greek and Biblical concepts in the imagination, and the new "post-modernism" (a subject of vital importance to Christians).

In the pages of this book, readers will meet writers, past and present who carry on a great literary tradition. By supporting worthy authors, Christians can exert a powerful influence on their culture. Christians who love books will love this navigational aid through the current flood pouring into the marketplace. Helps readers make informed choices by understanding how literature communicates.

Endorsements:

"What a superb resource this is! It resonates with profound perceptions of how good literature works to enrich and illuminate us. Dr. Veith proves himself once again to be a knowledgeable guide through the landscape of the written word." -- Luci Shaw, author of God in the Dark and Polishing the Petoskey Stone

"Veith makes it clear that the joys of reading can be deep joys of the type which can enliven our souls. This book should raise significantly the cultural level of evangelicalism." -- Dr. Edward E. Ericson, Jr., Calvin College

"Reading Between the Lines is thoroughly readable and thoroughly literate--a magnificent blending of history, literature, and theology that will be welcomed by professionals and laity alike." -- Dr. Wayne Martindale, Wheaton College

"Ed Veith has written on important topics with his usual clarity, good sense, organizing ability, and comprehensiveness. The scope of the project is impressive." -- Dr. Leland Ryken, Wheaton College

Paperback; 256 pages

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