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Oprah Gets One Right~Chuck Colson

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Oprah Gets One Right~Chuck Colson Empty Oprah Gets One Right~Chuck Colson

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Dec 2010, 3:31 pm

Oprah Gets One Right
December 28, 2010 Chuck Colson

Dickens Makes the Book Club


If you're a regular listener of this program, you know that I rarely
find common ground with Oprah Winfrey. I've critiqued the rampant
consumerism and the New Age beliefs and practices that she promotes on
her show, and I've talked about what a danger they pose to our culture.

But today I'm giving credit where credit is due. Today I'm here to tell
you that Oprah got one right.

A few days ago, Oprah announced her new pick for her book club: two
classic novels by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities and Great
Expectations. (The two novels have been packaged together in one volume
by Penguin Books.) Oprah told her audience that she's never read Dickens
before-that in fact this is the first time she's picked a book that she
hasn't yet read.

I'm simultaneously delighted by her choice, and curious as to whether
she has any idea what she and her audience are in for. The truth is,
they're about to experience two big doses of Christian worldview.

It's not the first time that Oprah has picked a classic with Christian
roots, but this just might be one of the boldest expressions of
Christian truth that the book club has yet encountered.

You may remember that I talked about A Tale of Two Cities last year on
BreakPoint, when the book had its 150th anniversary. There's a lot going
in this long and complex story, but the ultimate theme of the book is
the supremacy of mercy and love over revenge. And the ideals of mercy
and love are depicted in an explicitly Christian way.

At the very heart of the book is the redemption of a seemingly
unredeemable character, who then goes on to embrace Christ-like heroism
and self-sacrifice.

Great Expectations is a very different kind of story, but one that also
conveys valuable ideas and principles. The selfish main character,
entranced by visions of wealth and status, has to learn some bitter
lessons about humility, grace, and the things that truly matter.

And into this story, Dickens-ever the social reformer-worked some of his
sharpest criticisms of the justice system and the prisons of his day. As
you can imagine, that's the sort of thing that never gets old for me.

Now, as I've said many times before, I don't believe that literature is
supposed to be propaganda. A great book is a story, not a sermon. (And
please understand, I wouldn't call Great Expectations and A Tale of Two
Cities Christian novels.) But at the same time, every story reflects a
worldview, and the worldview that Dickens presents in these two books is
deeply influenced by biblical truths.

I couldn't be more pleased to see that Oprah Winfrey is using her clout
to promote such great literature to an audience of millions.

And so for once I'm following in Oprah's footsteps and recommending that
you buy, read, and reflect on her new book club selection. You might
even consider giving it as a Christmas gift. We're offering it right
here at the bookstore on our website, ColsonCenter. org. Of course, if
these two novels don't appeal, please be sure to check out our
recommended reading list.

The Lord does indeed work in strange and mysterious ways. Even through
Oprah's book club.

http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/16112
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