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!
Options Below:

personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

gift subscriptions

GIVE
Online Subscription

Give a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. 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.

kindle subscription

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

23.6—November/December 2010

Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas

The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage

22.8—November/December 2009

The Origin of Aesthetics

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

27.2—March/April 2014

Poetry Above Compulsion

Higher Education Should Advance the Glorious Liberty of the Sons of God by Anthony Esolen

Touchstone is published by

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