Twelve Trademarks of Great Literature

Twelve Trademarks of Great Literature

Essays, Stories, and Poems

by Jeff Baldwin
Publisher: Worldview Academy
Trade Paperback, 153 pages
Price: $11.00
Used Price: $7.50 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

Jeff Baldwin believes our Christian duty is to celebrate good thingsand to reject bad ones. But when it comes to literature, how do we know which is which? Is beauty subjective, in the eye of the beholder? Must a book be explicitly Christian to be good? If there are objective standards, what are they?

The Twelve Trademarks of Great Literature answers these questions by helping readers assess literature on their own. For Baldwin (a Worldview Academy instructor), content and style are inseparable—a book with fine style and awful content is not good, nor is one with good content and a blundering style. Unity of purpose and expression is present in all books we call classics.

In chapter one the author makes an interesting observation. He asks how Christian readers can enjoy The Old Man and the Sea which clearly presents an un-Christian worldview, and comes to the conclusion that we care about the old fisherman Santiago, not because he's a dogged fisherman, but because he's virtuous and patient in the face of adversity.

Through a series of essays, Baldwin identifies and elaborates on the twelve trademarks of great literature, showing readers how to find them in any book they encounter. Then he presents some poems and short stories of his own: ironically, these aren't very good, and belie his high standards.

If you're interested in the relation of art and Christianity, or just want to read smarter, The Twelve Trademarks of Great Literature is a good place to start. We recommend reading the essays and ignoring the stories and poems. Baldwin's style is odd at times, but he has good insights and a clear heart for literature and Jesus Christ.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Did you find this review helpful?

Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Odd writing style, some poor examples
Summary: How can Christians profit from secular literature? This helpful guide equips readers to do just that.

Related Categories
Recommended for...