HOT BLAST: William Faulkner's brand of Calvinism
Oct 28, 2013 | 1230 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The recent release of a film based on William Faulkner's 1930 novel As I Lay Dying inspires Gene Fant to consider the theological underpinnings of the great Southern novelist's works.

What Fant suggests is that Faulkner subscribed to a view that reminds one of the old joke about never joining a club that would have me for a member.

For some time I’ve viewed Faulkner as a very peculiar kind of Calvinist. He believed in total depravity and his novels explore original sin in all of its amazing variety. Unfortunately, he also seems to have believed that the atonement was limited, but so much so that no one was able to access it. My sense is that for him, God was a cruel judge who set up the rules, rigged the universe to punish fallen humankind, and then left us with a taunting glimmer of redemption, a risen Savior who has elected no one. It’s an amazing perversion of the Doctrine of Election to imagine an entire world that has realized that it has not been chosen to receive grace. If Faulkner is the creator god of his literary world, then certainly he himself is a cruel deity.



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