This year marks the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, author of A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, and many more best-selling novels.
As Dr Greg Clarke, CEO of Bible Society Australia, said in this month’s issue of Eternity newspaper, Dickens is well known for capturing a sense of the moral crisis of the age, the class conflict, and especially the suffering of children.
What is less known is that Dickens’ life and work were profoundly shaped by his Christian faith. He abhorred the “party-pooper” side of Christianity, speaking out against a bill to ban recreation on Sundays, and he criticised privileged church authorities, whom he saw as abusive, dogmatic and irresponsible.
And he wrote a book about Jesus Christ for his own children, suppressed until after his death, composed so the next generation would know something of the history of Jesus, for as he said, “everybody ought to know about him.”
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 25 Mar 2012.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.