Written by: James W. Huston Published: December 21, 2014
Marilynne Robinson.Â Where do I begin.Â I suppose when I first asked, â€śWho?â€ť when I read a review of Marilynne Robinsonâ€™s Death of Adam in National Review.Â Iâ€™d never heard of her, and there she was being hailed as one of the great minds of America, with a particularly acute, logical and . . . shockingly . . . Christian perspective.Â Well I knew all that wasnâ€™t possible, so I ordered the small hardcover book to prove it to myself.
Little did I know that the praise she received in the review was, if anything, an understatement.Â I was floored by her insight, her analysis, and, frankly, her wisdom.Â And her willingness to call things as she saw them, wherever the logic led. Who else in America can get away with a discussion of evolution by calling the concept of â€śsurvival of the fittestâ€ť a tautology?Â If those who have survived are determined to be the fittest by the fact that they survived, then that is simply a tautology.Â Survival of the survivors, it should be, which tells us nothing.Â Just so. Â But who has the nerve to say that in todayâ€™s world, and who but her can get away with it without being ridiculed by the evolution establishment which brooks no dissent?
I read on.Â I read interviews of her by the New York Times and others which noted her affection for Calvin and the disproportionate presence of books by and about him in her bookshelves.Â John Calvin?Â It is considered a character flaw to even mention John Calvin today.Â He believed in predestination which is an illegal thought in many quarters (never mind that so did Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Edwardsâ€”it is Calvin who is branded with the concept).Â Who can this unique person be? Â To me, much like Richard John Neuhaus, her objective was to reestablish the role of religion, Christianity in particular, and Calvinism in specific, into the discussion of the proper society.Â What a thought.