I was reminded of this last night when, while visiting my friends Ken and Carol, I noticed that one of the books that Ken has currently out on loan from the library is entitled The Gospel in Dostoyevsky.
One of the endorsements on the back of this book was written by Philip Yancey, editor-at-large of Christianity Today. Yancey’s words have made me all the more determined to acquaint myself with Dostoyevsky’s work. (Any suggestions on where I should start? Ken thinks it should be with Crime and Punishment.)
Anyway, here’s Yancey’s recommendation of The Gospel in Dostoyevsky – a recommendation that makes this anthology sound as if it too would be well worth investigating. Perhaps it will be a summer of Dostoyevsky for me!
For people raised in the church, words like “grace,” “forgiveness,” and “redemption” can become so familiar as to be leached of meaning. Sadly, I once found myself in that place, and no amount of Bible or “Christian” books seemed to help. Then I discovered the novels of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Brilliantly, refreshingly, gently, he filled theological words with meaning simply by telling stories. I had never understood grace until I read “The Idiot,” nor sin until I read “Crime and Punishment.” I could not recommend more highly an immersion in Dostoyevsky’s work. And for those busy soul’s intimidated by the length of his great novels, “The Gospel in Dostoyevsky” offers a wonderful sampler. Grab it. Read it. And, be careful: you may find yourself – as I did – scouring used bookstores for every obscure work of this incomparable writer.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Beautiful Novel
My Travels with Doris