Thanks to everyone who entered our competition this week and sent in emails in response to this question:
Which works of fiction (book or film) have inspired you most in your spiritual journey?
You can see the five winning responses below. We selected a range of genres and themes, including Hollywood, humour and hell, and all express values and thoughts which resonate with R&R. Each of them will be getting a copy of Wm Paul Young’s book Cross Roads. We’ll be publishing a review of the book in the next few days.
If you missed out on entering then please share what your choice would have been in the comments below.
The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis
I’d say C S Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a book I find inspirational, because it portrays heaven, and the spiritual life, as something which is far more substantial and real than the life we think is more substantial and real. It gets away from the idea that ‘heaven’ is some insubstantial, ‘floating on clouds’ kind of place, but a place to actually aspire to, be inspired by, and to want to go to.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The work of fiction that inspired me is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, with the constant message of redemption that runs through it. Jean Valjean is depicted as a human who has to contend with the dichotomy of Law (as depicted by Inspector Javarre) , but defeats the Law by showing the grace that has been given to him by extending it to others. He shows that God is on the side of those who have suffered injustice.He has frailties and weaknesses, but the novel shows that God is the God of the second, third etc. chances.
The novels of Adrian Plass
Not for me some erudite fiction which stimulated the mind but left the spirit unmoved. Nor classics – though I need to be reminded that “Aslan is not a tame lion”. The Susan Howatch Starbridge novels allowed (in a somewhat racy way) theology and psychology to have an internal dialogue. But no, for me it’s the Adrian Plass novels.
Why? Two reasons. First of all we need more honesty in our churches. Secondly they make me laugh. Laughter is a most neglected spiritual gift. It is healing, releasing, and in a way I don’t quite understand, it opens us up to God… thank you Adrian!
Rev Jeannie Kendall
Dead Poet’s Society – Peter Weir (director)
The film Dead Poet’s Society taught me about how we realise the potential placed within us by God. Are we inspired to be the best we can be or do we allow others to shape us into their mould; particularly our parents, but also our peers and our culture?
When I am inspired I develop more than if I’m instructed and sometimes the fear and jealousy of others can stifle potential. Stifling potential can be dangerous and stultifying. But if you can overcome this you can begin to operate in the way God intended.
The Robe – Henry Coster (director)
My favourite Christian film is The Robe because you see how hard the early Christians are working to keep the stories of Jesus alive and live it out. They had lots of bravery to resist the Romans and they often risked their lives for what they believed.
Danny K (aged 9)