Category Archives: Literature

Jayber Crow on Silence in Worship

Jayber on those beautiful moments of silence when the congregation stills itself before the living God:

“I liked the naturally occurring silences—the one, for instance, just before the service began and the other, the briefest imaginable, just after the last amen. Occasionally a preacher would come who had a little bias toward silence, and then my attendance would become purposeful. At a certain point in the service the preacher would ask that we ‘observe a moment of silence.’ You could hear a little rustle as the people settled down into that deliberate cessation. And then the quiet that was almost the quiet of the empty church would come over us and unite us as we were not united even in singing, and the little sounds (maybe a bird’s song) from the world outside would come in to us, and we would completely hear it.But always too soon the preacher would become abashed (after all, he was being paid to talk) and start a prayer, and the beautiful moment would end. I would think again how I would like for us all just to go there from time to time and sit in silence. Maybe I am a Quaker of sorts, but I am told that the Quakers sometimes speak at their meetings. I would have preferred no talk, no noise at all.

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Jayber Crow on Prayers and Hymns

I love this passage on the hymns of the faith. This paragraph, particularly what Jayber says about “Abide with Me,” wrenched my heart when I read it, and its hold on my mind brought me back to this book to type up these thoughts of Jayber (whose conduct, honestly, I found to be a little strange) to post them here. If you’re not blessed to know these songs, to have experienced the moving power of a congregation singing them, may this passage be a prod to that pleasure. Enjoy:

“What I liked least about the service itself was the prayers; what I liked far better was the singing. Not all of the hymns could move me. I never liked “Onward, Christian Soldiers” or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Jesus’ military career has never compelled my belief. I liked the sound of the people singing together, whatever they sang, but some of the hymns reached into me all the way to the bone: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “Rock of Ages,” “Amazing Grace,” “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” I loved the different voices all singing one song, the various tones and qualities, the passing lifts of feeling, rising up and going out forever. Old Man Profet, who was a different man on Sunday, used to draw the notes at the ends of verses and refrains so he could listen to himself, and in fact it sounded pretty. And when the congregation would be singing “We shall see the King some-day (some-day),” Sam May, who often protracted Saturday night a little too far into Sunday morning, would sing, “I shall see the King some-day (Sam May).”I thought that some of the hymns bespoke the true religion of the place. The people didn’t really want to be saints of self-deprivation and hatred of the world. They knew that the world would sooner or later deprive them of all it had given them, but they still liked it. What they came together for was to acknowledge, just by coming, their losses and failures and sorrows, their need for comfort, their faith always needing to be greater, their wish (in spite of all words and acts to the contrary) to love one another and to forgive and be forgiven, their need for one another’s help and company and divine gifts, their hope (and experience) of love surpassing death, their gratitude. I loved to hear them sing “The Unclouded Day” and “Sweet By and By”:

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blest . . .

And in times of sorrow when they sang “Abide with Me,” I could not raise my head.”

This last line about “Abide with Me” has deep resonance in the novel, for Jayber has walked through the valley of the shadow of death with people he loves, as those people lost loved ones who could never be replaced. So the line draws its beauty from the lyrics of the hymn and the pain Jayber has shared with these people. The weight of those who sing the faith bows his head in worship.

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Jayber Crow on “Weathering” Sermons

Can God bring good out of bad preaching? Here’s Jayber:

“In general, I weathered even the worst sermons pretty well. They had the great virtue of causing my mind to wander. Some of the best things I have ever thought of I have thought of during bad sermons. Or I would look out the windows. In winter, when the windows were closed, the church seemed to admit the light strictly on its own terms, as if uneasy about the frank sunshine of this benighted world. In summer, when the sashes were raised, I watched with a great, eager pleasure the town and the fields beyond, the clouds, the trees, the movements of the air—but then the sermons would seem more improbable. I have always loved a window, especially an open one.”

Notice how he speaks of “weathering” sermons, then talks a lot about the weather. Are there symbolic connections in this paragraph between bad preaching and winter and darkness? Are there connections between the word of God going forth to give life and summer? Is Jayber seeing a connection between better sermons being harder to believe? Is this a symbolic reference to a window at the end? Is good preaching a window on the world? What do you think?


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Interview with Bryan Litfin on His First Novel, The Sword

Bryan Litfin is Professor of Theology at Moody Bible Insitute. His book Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction, is what you would expect from a patristics scholar, but now he has also written a novel, The Sword, which is the first volume in “The Chiveis Trilogy.”

The book is set in a future time when the Bible has been lost, only to be rediscovered. I think it captures the kind of society the gospel encountered as it spread through the Roman world.

I got The Sword at ETS, and after our Christmas company left town I indulged myself on it. I could not put it down, and I commend it to you. As I told Bryan when I wrote to ask him if I could interview him here, the book made me love my sweet wife more, made me more grateful to have the whole Bible, and helped me feel more deeply the sheer wonder of life in this world. I commend it to you.

Thanks to Bryan for agreeing to do this interview! I hope it spurs you to pick up The Sword. My questions are in bold, followed by Bryan’s answers.

Was The Sword your first foray into fiction or was it preceded by other published short stories or books?

In 2007 I published a popular-academic book on the ancient church called Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos).  After that came out, I got bitten by the fiction bug and decided to try my hand at it. The Sword is my first fictional work and is the first volume in a trilogy.

What have been the most significant works of fiction that shaped your approach to writing?

I’m not sure it was fictional works that primarily shaped my writing. Rather, I read many, many books on “how to write fiction” and those played a larger role. However, there are certainly some novels that influenced my thinking. The Lord of the Rings was inspirational. In Christian fiction, I point to the works of Stephen Lawhead, particularly Byzantium. Two other novels that influenced me, and which remind me of The Sword in some ways, are Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose, and Walter Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz.

The book reminds me in some ways of Quo Vadis. Was that novel significant in your thinking?

No, but I have been told by others I should read this and I’d like to.

How did you approach the writing of fiction? I’ve seen references to the research you did on writing fiction. Was there something that was most helpful in your work? Did you read “how to” books or just great fiction itself?

My approach to fiction was to (a) admit I’m a total novice, (b) go research and become knowledgeable,  and (c) start writing. I went to the public library and read everything they had on the craft of fiction. I also bought some “how-to” books and they were very helpful. In particular I was struck by some of the plot techniques for developing the archetypal hero in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.  Another insightful book was Ron Benrey, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Christian Fiction.

Yet I have to say, I learned more about writing fiction from my excellent editor, Erin Healy, than from any particular book.  She and I worked through the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb.  Along the way I was like a disciple sitting at the feet of a master. The quality of Erin’s own books prove she knows writing. The Sword greatly benefitted from her expertise.

I saw a video clip where you said teaching was your “day job.” Did you work on the novel through the “meat” of the day or only on the margins?

My approach has been to take the time afforded by the academic schedule to write my novels.  During the semester, my main writing day is Thursday, when I do not have classes.  I also write intensively over Christmas break, spring break, and summertime. When things get intense I also snatch time at night or on the weekends. The process of writing The Sword took more than three years from the day I woke up with the idea to the day it came out from Crossway.  Sometimes I would write a few chapters and then set it aside.  For example I wrote chapters 1-4, then I did not come back to it for several weeks.  It bothered me the whole time that I had left Ana with a bag over her head.  I was relieved to get it off her in chapter 5.

Was writing this book significantly different than the academic writing you’ve done?

Yes!  I have found fiction to be a very different kind of writing. Of course, the process of putting words together and then re-reading them to choose better words or make it smoother is the same. But the content of the words is so much different than academic writing!  I am not trying to argue a thesis in fiction.  I am trying to entertain, and to elucidate the human condition before God along the way.  I had to learn all sorts of things that academic publishing does not teach you:  like how to do attributions (“he said”), or when to “show” and when to “tell,” or how to stay in a character’s point of view, or how to arrange scenes for maximum effect.  It has been a steep learning curve but I’m well along it now, I think.

The other main difference is the creativity that is required. The content of academic writing is there for you already. You just have to lay out the evidence from your research. But in fiction, you are dependent on ideas hitting you. Sometimes you have to daydream for an hour before you write anything down. You have to visualize it, see it in your mind. For me this was greatly aided by traveling around in Europe with my students or on trips of my own. I could “see” the landscape of Chiveis. I had walked the same trails that my characters were walking.

I’m curious as to what influenced the decision to do a trilogy as opposed to a stand alone volume – was it simply too long a story for one book?

I pitched the book as a potential trilogy but Crossway did not sign onto that right away. They only contracted The Sword at the outset. However, once it was written, we could all see that the ending begged for more. And that is probably the number one thing my readers tell me: “You left me hanging, I can’t wait until the next one!” Well, The Gift comes out this April, and my editor Erin says it is even better than The Sword.

I think you are right that it was too long a story for one book.  I always conceived of this as a hero’s tale, a quest, an epic. The trick is to make each novel stand on its own as a complete work, and yet to write an over-arching story that encompasses all three.  I am in the process right now of concluding that metanarrative. All I can say is, Teofil and Anastasia have one incredible adventure – and the things they encounter in The Sword are just the tip of the iceberg.

Do you have the plot for the other two books fully mapped out, or is there a general destination with things developing along the way?

Over time I have learned what my personal approach to writing is.  I outline extensively. I write a scene by scene account of what I think is going to happen.  I take notes on what the main theological through-line is. I delineate themes I want to weave into the story.  I discipline myself not to start writing until I know where things are headed. This keeps me from writing myself into plot dead-ends.  However, I maintain flexibility with that outline.  Sometimes the characters get “talking to each other” as my fingers are flying over the keyboard, and I run with it. Sometimes a scene takes a different turn on me.  Sometimes I type a line and then realize, “There. That’s it. That is how the scene must conclude,” even though I had other ideas. So it is a balance between mapping it out and letting the Muses take over.

Do you have other fiction and/or academic writing planned after the trilogy?

During the time I have been writing fiction I have not stopped my scholarly publishing. After the conclusion of the Chiveis Trilogy I hope to write a church history book and some more articles and chapters in academic works. But I have enjoyed fiction too much to stop doing it, if the Lord gives me further opportunities. My instinct is to go with historical fiction, set in the ancient church period since that is my academic specialty.


Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Bryan!

Those who want more on The Chiveis Trilogy should check out the website, where there are videos and forums.

Enjoy the adventure!



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On Re-Reading Homer’s Iliad

Homer’s noble high-born lords
Think mainly of themselves,
Lasting words and shining swords,
Through flesh and soul they delve.

Yet the highest truths we have
He does not seem to know:
For sinful guilt he gives no salve;
No peace with God does show.

Reading him, one must ask why
There’s good in his wide world,
In lust and shame his gods still lie,
Their vain desires unfurled.

Not even Zeus, in all his pride,
From destiny is free,
Decreed fate he can’t outstride
To govern what will be.

No hope in Priam’s city now
Across the wine-dark sea,
Nor can the black ships show somehow
A way of life to thee.

Tragic ruin, futile rage,
The melody he sings,
A song now sung from age to age,
Still the high beauty rings.

For though he lacked the highest truth
This world his blind eyes saw,
And what he saw his tongue unloosed,
Thrilling the heart with awe.


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Stephen P. Lawhead’s Byzantium

I bought Byzantium, a novel by Stephen R. Lawhead, when Justin Taylor blogged on it. I love to read fiction, but when I do, good plots tend to dominate my free time and steal some hours when I should be sleeping. Being robbed of shut-eye, however, pays me back with more vacuum capacity for sucking the marrow out of life. Reading great literature is as stretching and strengthening as it is taxing and exhausting. Often I need a little extra push to plunge back into this fiction vortex, the push that pulls me away from something I “should” be reading and forces me to read something I’ve been wanting to jump into.

In this case, the push came from Andrew Peterson, who made an offhand remark in a book review that he had named his first-born son after the main character in Lawhead’s Byzantium. That’s a pretty strong shove!

So I commend to you this novel: set in the middle ages, about the journey of an Irish monk (a man not unlike Saint Patrick), who is a scribe involved in the production of a famous manuscript, is made the slave of Vikings, stands before the Emperor in Constantinople, is enslaved by wicked Saracens only to be befriended by noble Muslims, and through these many adventures sees a Beowulf like figure, King of Skania, converted to Christianity.

Need some more motivation? The Irish Monks practice believer’s baptism by immersion!

This is a fascinating trip to another time and place, combining history and fiction. Lawhead explains:

As for Aidan mac Cainnech, he is a fictitious amalgamation of several Irish saints who were active at the time. No one person did all the things my Aidan did in the book, but the events described in Byzantium were based on the kinds of actual adventures pilgrim saints of Aidan’s day endured.

In another Q&A, Lawhead writes:

Many of the events mentioned in the book – the political upheaval, the intrigue within the Islam court, and others – are genuine. I wanted to make the book as historical as possible without sacrificing the story – after all, it is not a history textbook, but a novel. With me, story wins every time.

Byzantium is a story that waters seeds of hope, fertilizes soils of perseverance, and puts the sun’s life giving rays to unfolding leaves of virtue. Go ahead, travel from Ireland to Arabia through Byzantium and back at the end of the 9th Century. Cross the seas on Viking ships and the deserts on Arabian horses. Tread the paths of an Irish Monk on a journey through the death of vanity to the resurrection of faith.


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Andrew Peterson’s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Do you want to read a thrilling novel about the conflict for the fate of the world between the Fangs of Dang (snake-men, seed of the serpent) and the seed of the woman (little children who have lost their father and have a strong, noble mother)? Let me commend to you Andrew Peterson’s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

The other night my sweet wife was at book club and the bed-time routine was my responsibility. We got to reading this one and had a hard time stopping! The boys finally got to bed, and I couldn’t resist finishing the book. The music in the pages is full, and there are moments when the minor keys would overcome the majors, only to have the melody of beauty, truth, and goodness resurface and triumph. O the gladness of the flames of hope rising out of the embers and ashes to burn brightly again! (As if from a great distance, the tune of AP’s song, “In the Night, My Hope Lives On” wafts faintly through the leaves).

Explaining why he plays the dark keys and not just the white ones in his stories, Peterson states:

“Sometimes it is necessary to paint the sky black in order to show how beautiful is the prick of light. Gather all the wickedness in the universe into its loudest shriek and God hears it as a squeak at best.”

This is the first book in The Wingfeather Saga, which having read I promptly bought the second volume and am eager to see the third appear.

Check out the Series Website, where there are illustrations, an encyclopedia, maps, and more.

Peterson celebrates art, music, and literature, and puts mathematics in its proper place. There are hints of a wider back story, a framing meta-narrative along the lines of what the Silmarillion provides for The Lord of the Rings. I’m eager to see how these hints, some of which are embedded in lovely poetry, get teased out.

Thank God for Andrew Peterson, in whose music and literature we hear echoes of the beauty just around the bend. Those lovely traces of something better call us to the world for which we were made–they summon us to live the nobility and virtue worthy of the high call placed on those made in the image and likeness of the one true and living God.


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Literary Notes from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

As mentioned earlier, I think that A. Philip Brown II’s Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Analysis of Ezra is the best book on the theology of Ezra available. Last week I posted notes I took from the book on the way that literature works. Here are the links to those posts in one place:


Plot Composition

Point of View


In the ancient world, Ezra and Nehemiah were treated as one book. Someone looking for a dissertation topic would do well to do for Nehemiah what Brown has done for Ezra. The fact that Ezra and Nehemiah were treated as one does not mean that Brown should have done both Ezra and Nehemiah, since the Twelve Minor Prophets were treated as one Book of the Twelve, and everyone grants the legitimacy of studying them individually. Whoever does the work on Nehemiah could profitably compare his/her findings to Brown’s on Ezra . . .


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Notes on Characterization from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

So this is the final installment of my notes on how narrative literature works from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin. For more, you’ll have to read the book for yourself, which I don’t think you’ll regret doing. Here’s what he says about Characterization:

“Characterization refers to how an author portrays the characters in his narrative” (108).

“There is a scale of means, in ascending order of explicitness and certainty, [for accomplishing characterization]. . . . The lower end of this scale—character revealed through actions or appearance—leaves us substantially in the realm of inference. The middle categories, involving direct speech either by a character himself or by others about him, lead us from inference to the weighing of claims. . . . With the report of inward speech, we enter the realm of relative certainty about character. . . . Finally at the top of the ascending scale, we have the reliable narrator’s explicit statement of what the characters feel, intend, desire; here we are accorded certainty, though Biblical narrative . . . may choose for its own good purposes either to explain the ascription of attitude or state it baldly and thus leave its cause as an enigma for us to ponder” (Alter, Art of Biblical Narrative, 117, cited in Brown, Hope Amidst Ruin, 108–109 n. 57).

“characterization is also a means by which the narrator expresses his own point of view and shapes his reader’s perspective” (109).

“Biblical characters are primarily depicted through word and action. Only rarely does a narrator employ direct characterization” (112).


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Notes on Point of View from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

So yesterday I noted that this material from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin will help you read all kinds of narrative, and today I note that ambitious souls thinking about writing narrative would be helped by such thoughts as these on Point of View:

Point of View: “Point of view refers to how a story is told. It is the perspective from which an author presents the setting, characters, actions, and events of a narrative. Traditionally, literary critics distinguish two elements in point of view: person and position. ‘Person’ refers to the one who tells the story, the narrator. The narrator may speak in the first person or third person. . . . ‘Position,’ on the other hand, refers to the vantage point from which the narrator tells his story. The narrator’s position involves both his knowledge and his values. In terms of knowledge, the narrator may be either omniscient or limited. A first-person narrator invariably operates from a limited point of view since the story filters though [sic] his eyes or consciousness and is restricted to his knowledge. On the other hand, a third-person narrator may be omniscient, knowing everything inside-out, or limited in knowledge, ranging from less than divine to more ignorant than his audience. In terms of values, every narrator has an ideological standpoint from which he approaches his material. His evaluations of events and characters will reflect his value system. Not only does the narrator’s value system play a role in the text’s formative background, shaping its selection, arrangement, and presentation, but it also constitutes a crucial aspect of the message he desires to communicate to the reader” (93–94).

“David Rhoads and Donald Richie’s description of the narrator in Mark captures well the typical features of Old Testament narrators: the narrator ‘speaks in the third person; is not bound by time or space in the telling of the story; is an implied invisible presence in every scene, capable of being anywhere to ‘recount’ the action; displays full omniscience by narrating the thoughts, feelings, or sensory experiences of many characters, . . . and narrates the story from one over-arching ideological point of view.’” (96 n. 19, citing Mark as Story, 36).

“Since neither the text nor its transmission history suggest otherwise, there is no reason not to regard Ezra the scribe as real author, implied author, and narrator of the book of Ezra” (97 n. 21).

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Notes on Plot Composition from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

So I’m posting the notes I took on how literature works from A. Philip Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin, and it occurs to me that maybe I should note that attending to these features will help you read all kinds of narrative, not just biblical narrative. Maybe I didn’t need to say that, but there it is. Anyway, here are my notes on what Brown says about Plot Composition:

Plot composition is the result primarily of three activities: selection, arrangement, and presentation” (73).

Selection: inclusion and omission (73).

“A story is ‘any account of actions in a time sequence’ or ‘the collection of things that happen in a work.’ A plot, on the other hand, ‘takes a story, selects its materials in terms not of time but of causality; gives it a beginning, a middle, and an end; and makes it serve to elucidate character, express an idea, or incite to an action” (73 n. 20).

“At times more telling than what an author says is what he does not say” (74).

“The series [of events] that we see [in a narrative] is a radical selection, and when we understand what it is that governs the writer’s choice, we will have found the main point of access into his linguistic work of art” (74 n. 23, quoting J. P. Fokkelman).

“Two levels of plot events may be distinguished: kernel events and satellite events” (75).

“a kernel . . . ‘advances the plot by raising and satisfying questions. Kernels are narrative moments that give rise to cruxes in the direction taken by events. They are nodes or hinges in the structure, branching points which force a movement into one of two (or more) possible paths. . . . Kernels cannot be deleted without destroying the narrative logic’” (75 n. 29).

“Satellite events are ‘minor plot events [which] . . . can be deleted without disturbing the logic of the plot, though [their] omission will . . . impoverish the narrative aesthetically. . . . Their function is that of filling in, elaborating, completing the kernel” (76 n. 29).

“One may distinguish a narrative’s ‘topic’ from its ‘theme(s)’ in this fashion: the topic of the narrative is that subject that is talked about most, whereas the theme(s) of a narrative is the theological message it is intended to communicate” (76 n. 30, citing Gudas).

Arrangement: “Having selected the events he wants to include, an author must then choose how he will arrange those events. Sequential relationships exist at all levels of a narrative: across the totality, between episodes, between scenes, and within scenes” (83).

“three types of logical relationships between scenes: ‘cause and effect, parallelism, and contrast’ . . . Other potential relationships include paratactical coordination and synecdochic relations, where new material specifies the preceding material, includes it, or uses it for generalization” (83 n. 47).

“Narrative coherence normally consists of a cause-effect chain of events in which one thing produces the next, or in some way grows out of an earlier event. The impact of a story depends on the presence of such coherence” (83 n. 48, citing Ryken).

Presentation: “Having decided which events to include and in what order to place them, an author must then decide how to narrate his story. The principal modes of presentation available to an author are scene and summary. How effectively an author uses these presentational modes determines the degree to which the narrative absorbs the reader into its world, involving him in its emotions and psychology” (85–86).

“The scene-summary distinction may also be expressed as ‘showing vs. telling’ . . . ‘Telling’ relates events in summary form, compressing time and action, whereas ‘showing’ displays events with a relative fullness of action so that narration time approximates real time” (86 n. 51).

“an event dramatized into a scene will assume greater importance than one telescoped into a summary” (86 n. 52, citing Sternberg).

“third person narration is frequently only a bridge between much larger units of direct speech” . . . “The functions of this summary narration, according to Alter, are (1) ‘the conveying of actions essential to the unfolding of the plot . . . , (2) the communication of data ancillary to the plot . . . , [and] (3) the verbatim mirroring, confirming, subverting, or focusing in narration of statements made in direct discourse by the characters’” (86 n. 53, citing Alter).

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Notes on Plot from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

As I mentioned yesterday, I deeply appreciate A. Philip Brown’s book, Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Anaylsis of Ezra.

Here are the notes I took on what he says about plot–page numbers in parentheses refer to Brown’s book:

Plot: ordered arrangement of the incidents . . . which has a beginning and a middle and an end (66).

What plot is: “the principle of interconnectedness and intention which we cannot do without in moving through the discrete elements—incidents, episodes, actions—of a narrative. . . . a plot . . . is a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality” (66–67 n. 4).

What plot does: “serves to organize events in such a way as to arouse the reader’s interest and emotional involvement, while at the same time imbuing the events with meaning” (67 n. 4).

“the structure of [the narrative’s] actions, as these are ordered and rendered toward achieving particular emotional and artistic effects” (67 n. 4).

“Plot is a selected sequence of logically-caused events that solve a conflict by utilizing established literary conventions such as introduction, complication, crisis and denouement” (67 n. 4).

“plot structure refers to the large-scale layout of the plot in terms of episodes, phases, and scenes” (69 n. 12).

“A ‘phase’ is a group of logically or thematically related scenes, and a ‘scene’ is an event or event sequence that is complete in itself” (69 n. 16).

Models for Analyzing Plot Structure:

(1) Analysis in terms of the beginning, middle, and end;

(2) Analysis in terms of a pyramidal model of conflict development and resolution;

(3) Analysis in terms of the rise or fall of the protagonist’s fortune (69–72).

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The Best Literary and Theological Analysis of Ezra Available

A. Philip Brown II has given us a treat in his published dissertation, Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Analysis of Ezra. If you like biblical theology that is sensitive to the literary features of the biblical authors, you’ll love this book.

One of the aspects of this book that I most appreciated was the way that Brown provided crisp definitions and descriptions of things like plot, point of view, and characterization. It reminded me of listening to the lectures of one of my favorite literature profs at the University of Arkansas, Skip Hays.

Over the next few days I’ll post my notes on what Brown says about plot, point of view, and characterization. Excellent stuff, and the description of Ezra’s theology is even better. I recommend you buy this book and read it.


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