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Marking a 'Theological' Reference to Twain 1/22/2003
CFI Director Robert Knight 'answers' a letter from a Mark Twain descendant
Editor.s Note: This letter came to Concerned 'Woman' Robert Knight regarding a November/December Family Voice magazine article, .What Holiday Was That Again?. in which he quoted Mark Twain while noting that Twain was .apparently not a believer..(is he calling Twain an infidel? -Nougat)
Dear Robert Knight,
Mark Twain is in my family tree. I know we are to mostly look forward to seeing Jesus in Heaven, but is it not a custom for people to want to meet apostles and such too?
Mark Twain obviously opposed racism, and that is a good American thing to do. Was it so far a throw for me to think that he meant for us to catch a Christian striving in his work as well?
Am I to be so ashamed of the family tree? What was it, please, exactly that brought you to the conclusion that Twain was a doomed pagan? A son of darkness?
Miss Mytyl Wilson
'Mr.' Knight.s reply:
Dear Miss Wilson,
Thanks for writing me about the Mark Twain reference in my Family Voice article concerning the replacement of
Christmas with the generic .holiday..
I have searched for any evidence that Mr. Twain eventually came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but have not found any. This does not mean, of course, that he did not accept Christ before he died. No one knows the heart except God. There just is no evidence that I know of.
Mr. Twain is among the greatest American writers, and had a very witty, though cynical view of human nature. He was probably as perceptive as C.S. Lewis, but Lewis was not contemptuous of his fellow man, given that he believed that we are created in God.s image. In one of Twain.s lesser-known books, Letters from the Earth, he actually takes Satan.s point of view and ridicules the idea that God truly cares for His creatures.
An atheist friend gave me the book just after I became a Christian. He hoped that it would help undo my faith. It didn.t, but it saddened me because I admire so much of what Mark Twain wrote. The good stuff stands today because Twain invokes timeless truths, such as his exposure of the evils of racism.
Mark Twain was a great writer who will be quoted as long as people care about truth. I would be proud to have him in my family tree, and I hope he quietly bent his knee somewhere, sometime.
Concerned Women for America |
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