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Book Title: The Whimsical Christian: 18 Essays|
The author of the book: Dorothy L. Sayers
ISBN 13: 9780020964308
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 474 KB
Edition: Collier Books
Date of issue: March 1st 1987
Read full description of the books:You're reading this collection of essays from 1940s and 1950s England and thinking how dated it is, then you come across this:
"And do we -- this is important -- when we blame the mess that the economical world has got into, do we always lay the blame on wicked financiers, wicked profiteers, wicked capitalists, wicked employers, wicked bankers -- or do we sometimes ask ourselves how far we have contributed to make the mess?"
But much of "Christian Letters" does seem dated and, worse, tedious. I had a hard time getting through some of the essays and didn't quite make it through some of the others.
I thought some were very good. The best section was a set of essays the compiler titled: "The Shattering Dogmas of the Christian Tradition." A better title, I think, would be: "Dogmas Matter." Better yet: "Doctrine Matters." To the Jesus People of the 1960s who said, "Don't give me doctrines, just give me Jesus," Sayers would have answered (had she still been alive): No. It matters what you believe about Jesus.
In "The Greatest Drama Ever Staged," she argues with those who say they are bored by recitations of various creeds in church. These people, she writes, must not be paying any attention to what those creeds say:
"If this is dull, then what, in Heaven's name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore -- on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him in an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him 'meek and mild,' and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. To those who knew Him, however, He in no way suggested a milk-and-water person; they objected to Him as a dangerous firebrand. True, He was tender to the unfortunate, patient with honest inquirers, and humble before Heaven; but He insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites; He referred to King Herod as 'that fox'; He went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a 'gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners'; He assaulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the Temple; He drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations; He cured diseases by any means that came handy, with a shocking casualness in the matter of other people's pigs and property; He showed no proper deference for wealth or social position; when confronted with neat dialectical traps, He displayed a paradoxical humour that affronted serious-minded people, and He retorted by asking disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by rule of thumb. He was emphatically not a dull man in His human lifetime, and if He was God, there can be nothing dull about God either."
I think that is a marvelous passage. I wish the rest of the book rose to its level.
Read information about the authorDorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist.
Dorothy L. Sayers is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante's Divina Commedia to be her best work. She is also known for her plays and essays.
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