This could possibly be the most depressing book ever written. Or that I’ve read recently. It was obsessively absorbing – in that you desperately wanted things to get better for the good guy in the plot line and so you just kept reading, hoping… But things never really did.
Naturally, Camus wrote from an existential point of view and that was the perspective it must be considered from. But surprisingly there was a Christian twist to it – there is a Christian theologian in the book with whom Camus does a really splendid job in capturing the essence of a man who stands on Biblical principles. I was surprised at Camus’ understanding of reformed theology (as this was the doctrine preached in the book) and this made it all the more of an interesting book for me to read – having come from a fairly traditional Christian upbringing and then melding into liberal existentialism and then morphing into reformed cultism and now coming back into a more mainstream Christian walk which includes a lot of existential thought processes – but this time in light of all that I’ve learned in my walk with God over the years.
It does raise some wonderful questions about human nature and how one processes the world around him. And how he relates on a spiritual level to his Creator and to his fellow mankind. I found lots to think about as I read the book – but I don’t know if I would recommend this book as a “must read”. It is a classic though and I think one should read it just so you know what others authors are referencing in more modern works. But it’s not going to be one of my favorites.
While reading this book I did form the following opinion: All Christians should find a desire to study the Humanities or Philosophies (whatever you want to call it). Because I simply don’t see how one can have a fully developed world view if you do not study the WORLD VIEWS of others around you. How can a Christian fully KNOW what they believe if they don’t know what others believe and why their beliefs differ from the rest? This is very important. Older, mature Christians should spend time studying Philosophy so that they can develop Philosophical thinking so they can be prepared to stand, ready to give an answer – an intelligent, articulate answer – when they are questioned as to why they are Christians. Why their Christian Faith is above all else. They will be asked. And they need to be prepared with something other than, “Because I believe it to be so.” Well. That’s great and all but so does the Hindu – so you and he are on the same playing field then.
Just my thoughts. But I’m a thinker. So – what can I say except that the above thought just crept up on me and I wanted to share it. You don’t HAVE to study Philosophy to get into Heaven. It’s not a requirement. Thank God! But I think I will enjoy studying it in college. Maybe I’ll change my major all together.
Back to the book review: I give this book a great big question mark! Read it if you want – but you really probably aren’t missing much if you pass this one by at the library!