Book Review of Gene Fant "God as Author"
Gene Fant in his book God as Author argues that the gospel is not just like a story, but that stories are like the gospel in order to show that God stands behind the power of narrative, and that any story we are given, He has given us to point us back to Him.
Fant addresses the many of the different ways to read narrative and maintains the fact that allegory is the basis for most every way of interpreting narrative - Book Review of Gene Fant "God as Author" introduction. (23) Fant looks at the majority of secular ways to read and offers that they are all in fact, subconsciously or consciously, trying to emulate biblical allegory. (24) In most secular ways to read literature, the approach is cynical, and probing, which Fant suggests does not take into value the communal aspect of narrative, and tends to isolate the text, in ways as to prevent the reader from making necessary connections within the text. The major connection that Fant wants the reader to realize is the connection of The Biblical Restoration narrative with all the parts in literary narrative. Fant’s argument suggests that readers will miss the depth of characters and will connect the misery and hopelessness they see in the world around them unless they choose to see view narrative through the lens of restoration. (126)
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Fant has an argument that secular writers would no doubt fight against. He is claiming that the literary classics students are required to read today were not really meant to show the dangers of a “Big Brother” society and the warning of totalitarianism, as is the case with many of the themes in George Orwell’s 1984, but in fact is to show that Winston’s release back into society is somehow tied into Christ return, maybe? This viewpoint in this book would be outraging to the authors of such works, but it does not seem that this is the intent of Fant’s perspective. One could make reference to how mind washed we are becoming in society today, and how “The Party” seems to have a hold on our lives even though it is a fictional reference. Furthermore sin can turn our brains around, and a person as appealing to us as O’Brien seems to be to Winston can deceive us and release us back into the world now numb to “The Party,” and loving sin. Oh how we need someone to release us from the grip that sin has on us and that person is Jesus, and his redemptive power. While 1984 and other novels like it that have similarly dark and hopeless themes, they can be used to find and reveal redemption even if that entails focusing on the need for it when it is absent. Finding the same redemptive aspect of the gospels in all narrative to use its power to then present the gospel is a logical concept that Fant communicates to us, and while perhaps pushing somewhat hard against the actual literary purpose the author has for his work, Fant does accomplish his goal which is giving his readers a way to approach a story and analyze it to use the story to point us back to God, and Fant accomplishes this quite well.