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I am having trouble with this novel. In class we have talked about diversity and tolerance, but I feel that this story is bashing my beliefs. It happens in others books/speeches/interviews/debates/ as well, but why did Nathan have to represent this type of religion? He is described as a hateful, horrible, ugly man, but I see Christianity as demonstrating love, just the opposite of Nathan. Cedric's minister in A Hope in the Unseen said, when referring to the church - "And if you ever find yourself in need of love, you know you'll always be loved here." This was not true in the Nathan's church.

The positive side is seen in Brother Fowles. But this too is a misrepresentation of Christianity. He tends to emphasize worshipping nature as God. I see God in nature, not the other way around. Why do books, etc. tend to do this today? Are Christians the next persecuted group?


Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:10 pm
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Amy, I think it is a natural thing for people to dwell on the negative. The many goods go unpublished but the first bad is snatched up and put on CNN. I think it's true with many things, including religion. I think many people confuse "Christianity" with a religion and lumping it in a big pot of other beliefs rather than a relationship with Jesus Christ. The religion part has gotten a bad rap; and since relationships are personal - no one talks about that as much. The Bible says the world will wax worse and worse and Jesus said we would be persecuted for His sake. I think the main thing to concentrate on is that for believers this world is a temporary home - no matter what people may say in books, novels, tv, etc. we know how it will all end. As far as Poisonwood, that was the part that bothered me; but I tried to step back and see it for being a novel and tried not to take it personally.

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Stella


Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:45 am
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Amy,

It may help, too, to remember that this character Kingsolver has created, Nathan, has had a very difficult and traumatic early adulthood. Try not to see him just as the person you would hope he would be, but as a person who is struggling with enormous guilt about the fact that he survived (by hiding) when all his comrades in arms died.

You may not be comfortable with Brother Fowles' Christianity either, but why say that he is a "misrepresentation" of Christianity?

It's going to be important to me to hear about why you feel the book is bashing your beliefs. That isn't good at all!

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Gayle Turner


Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:42 pm
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The beliefs that I have are so very different than Nathan's or Brother Fowles. And when Kingsolver puts all of Christianity under one big umbrella, I am offended. Neither man represents my beliefs. We are not even in the same rainstorm, muchless under the same umbrella.

Wait! I am forgetting what I said in an earlier thread about comparing fiction and non-fiction. But I am afraid that people who are not knowledgable about Christianity and read this book, will get a very poor picture of what it is really all about. They will not remember that these are not real people.


Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:50 pm
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Amy,I agree with what you said earlier about the novel being fiction. I was like Stella and enjoyed reading the book. Even if there were some theological aspects of the book that I didn't agree with, I looked at how the history of the characters affected the story each character told and how they lived with those stories. That probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me. It was a very interesting book.


Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:59 am
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I can understand why you have been upset Amy. While I read the book, I kept telling myself, this is a fictional character... However, I do have a friend who grew up in a Christian home and attended church dutifully. Upon graduating from college she went to a church and the preacher had the same tendencies as Nathan Price. She told me she requested a meeting with him to discuss some points from his sermons. The preacher became irrate and told her her negative attitude was not welcome...

Now, obviously there are two sides to every story. You can't use a situation like this as an excuse to not attend church (as my friend has). Unfortunately, all it takes is one bad encounter with a minister to "turn away" members of a congregation. I do get upset when I hear people generalize Christianity. Again that's sheer ignorance. My best memories are connected with church and will continue. All you can do is educate people and witness to them. Then, it's up to each individual person to determine if books such as these accurately portray reality or not.

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Nicole Atkins


Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:49 am
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