Friday, March 16, 2007

At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen (1976)

along the same lines as The Poisonwood Bible, it explores the lives and work of all too human missionaries as they bring the gospel to the middle of nowhere. the mode of story telling and character sketches aren’t quite as good as The Poisonwood Bible but it does raise a lot of fascinating questions. it paints a picture of what happens when Christianity goes wrong – of the problem of rice Christians brought on by bad American evangelical mission work, of how one who rejects the faith doesn’t entirely leave it as he tries to live as a saviour, and of the inability of someone who questions the ‘right’ version of Christianity to be able to do the work he loves which would really be of use.

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