Conflicts Within The Peace-Makers

Peace Shall Destroy Many, by Rudy Henry Wiebe (McClelland and Stewart [Toronto, Canada], 1962, 239 pp., $4.93), is reviewed by J. Wesley Ingles, professor of English, Eastern Baptist College, St. Davids, Pennsylvania.

It should cause concern and serious reflection among Protestant leaders that so little fiction of literary distinction and of genuine insight into our culture is being produced within the Protestant perspective. And in the evangelical Protestant tradition the paucity is even greater. By contrast, one can readily name an ever growing list of significant Roman Catholic and Anglican writers who make the novel a highly effective vehicle for communicating truth about life and the Christian faith as they see it.

Probably several factors contribute to this problem. One may be a lingering suspicion about the use of the theater and its cousin fiction as instruments for conveying truth. Further, the writer who would deal honestly with a particular segment of life often is under serious limitations. Taboos are imposed by a prudish public within the churches and by editors and publishers controlled by them. And there are also limitations within some writers themselves; they either have failed to master the craft of fiction or have a vision so limited or distorted that it makes an appeal only to an audience having no literary standards or having an equally limited understanding of life.

And therefore, when a young writer within a small branch of the evangelical tradition produces a novel worthy of a serious reading by intelligent people in all branches of the Christian Church, it is cause for rejoicing. This is what Mr. Wiebe has done in Peace Shall Destroy Many. It would be a great misfortune ...

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