From the November/December, 2009 issue of Touchstone
Novel Ideas by Barton Swaim

Novel Ideas

Barton Swaim on the Fictional Value of “Things That Never Existed”

There is a long and venerable tradition among Evangelical Christians of viewing the genre of fiction with apprehension and mistrust. The idea that there is something vaguely unsound or improper about the reading and writing of tales that aren’t true is an old one, dating back at least to the seventeenth-century Puritans. The Puritans, as every undergraduate English major knows, shut down the playhouses because (among other reasons) dramatic productions are fabrications.

Over the succeeding generations, those suspicions waned but didn’t die. Defoe went to great lengths in the preface to Robinson Crusoe to deny that his st . . .


This article is only available to subscribers.

Login to Touchstone Online

Not a subscriber? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of content!

subscription options

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. NEW: Download PDF of issues! That's only $1.66 per month!

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access for only $39.95. NEW: Download PDF of issues! That's only $3.34 per month!

Transactions will be processed on the secure server of The Fellowship of St. James website, the publisher of Touchstone.

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

31.1—January/February 2018

Beggars Before Christ

on Taking the Measure of the Deserving & the Undeserving Poor by Martin Bordelon

21.6—July/August 2008

The European Disunion

Benedict XVI on the Crisis of Faith & Reason by Samuel Gregg

22.8—November/December 2009

The Origin of Aesthetics

Looking for Beauty & Justice 150 Years After Darwin’s Classic by Charles Taliaferro

Touchstone is published by

All content The Fellowship of St. James — 2018. All rights reserved.
Returns, refunds, and privacy policy.