posted for Johne Cook
I have long felt that the line between 'secular' and 'sacred' is an artificial thing, that there is truth to be found anywhere within God's creation. That sentiment has been borne out for me again today as I read a most unusual source for such truths, a swashbuckling sword adventure written in Spanish and translated for English audiences. The book is "Captain Alatriste" by Arturo Perez-Reverte. I found the hardcover version of the book, in a pleasingly slim 248 pages in this format.
I like what the author is doing with this tale. At one place, he introduces a cleric who is a genuine man of God instead of the religious aristocracy intent on wielding the power of the Spanish Inquisition. The cleric is scorned by the religious elite for visiting the taverns and pubs where the 'wicked' were known to congregate. The author writes something interesting coming from the mouth of the cleric, and underlined the phrase in the book and turned back the corner of the page on which the sentiment appeared -- I do not want to lose track of his observation, to whit:
"And when the ecclesiastical superiors reproached him for passing time in the tavern with poets and swordsmen, he responded that saints save themselves, while sinners must be sought out."
This is why I read, to find these nuggets of truth. And that is one method of doing so, having a religious character say things worth saying. I like that he is doing this not as 'Christian fiction' but rather as a storyteller writing to the wider audience than just CBA. It is times like this when I wonder, again, why there must even be 'Christian fiction'. It is a distinction I am growing ever less interested in making for my own writings. Write the story, tell the spiritual truth where appropriate, and go seek out the sinners, for they won't be seeking for me.
Johne (Phy) Cook