Monday, February 02, 2009

God as Novelist

Gandalf turned me on to this insightful and thought-provoking interview with Mary Doria Russell, a paleoanthropologist turned novelist. Two decades ago, she was decoding the stories in ancient bones. Then she wrote two beautiful, theologically evocative books of science fiction, The Sparrow and Children of God (both of which are now on my reading list). Though she and I do not share the same faith, she raises some great insights and fodder for prayer and conversation around the nature of God's sovereignty, the presence of evil in the world, and the topic of free will. As an author, I resonated deeply with her assertion that our story's characters do not become real until they begin to act with a will of their own, quite independent of my wishes as the story creator. She makes some interesting connections between that common experience of fiction authors and God's possible reasons for giving humanity so much free will.

The interview is about 50 minutes long, and is part of the American Public Media's "Speaking of Faith" podcast.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Click here to visit the "Speaking of Faith" website.


Tales of the Vine said...

Her views are very similar to Buechner's. If you have not read the chapter "Faith and Fiction" from "Secrets in the Dark", I would recommend it. You would enjoy his words.

Michael D. Warden said...

Thanks John. I haven't read that chapter from Buechner, but look forward to doing so.