Last month, the New York Times Sunday Book Review published an essay titled “The Book of Books: What Literature Owes the Bible, ” in which Marilynn Robinson, herself an author, ponders how deeply the Bible is intertwined with contemporary literature.
Robinson notes that “Biblical allusions can suggest a degree of seriousness or significance their context in a modern fiction does not always support.” The power of such images arises from the truth “that in the culture there is a well of special meaning to be drawn upon that can make an obscure death a martyrdom and a gesture of forgiveness an act of grace.”
What she points to is the power of story, both in the Bible and in literature, to get at depths of human experience and wonder. Stories not only connect to one another by sharing
common human themes, but begin to interpret one another as the characters, situations, and interactions unfold again and again in new and different situations.
How have you experienced such a “dreaming forward” of a Bible story in your own life and experience?