Why Every Story and All of Literature Is Christ-Haunted

The Gospel Coalition | 8/17/2019 | Joe Carter
Kota79Kota79 (Posted by) Level 4
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Of all the apologetic arguments for the existence of God, the type that is probably least persuasive to skeptics (though most philosophically compelling for believers) is ontological arguments, a category of philosophical arguments that rely on the nature of being.

Although such arguments may be of limited value in convincing atheists, they may be of more value in literary criticism and interpretation. The reason they can be useful is because they establish that the God of the Bible exists within the structure of every narrative and story that has ever been told.

Perspective - Claim - Truth - * - Literature

Depending on your perspective this may be an absurd claim or a banal truth.* But before you dismiss it as either, let’s consider what that means and how it can illuminate literature.

The acclaimed philosopher Alvin Plantinga formulated an ontological argument that relies on modal logic and the concept known as possible worlds. As Wikipedia explains:

Concept - Worlds - World - Worlds - Way

Those who use the concept of possible worlds consider the actual world to be one of the many possible worlds. For each distinct way the world could have been, there is said to be a distinct possible world; the actual world is the one we in fact live in. The modal status of a proposition is understood in terms of the worlds in which it is true; thus:

Plantinga uses the concept of possible worlds in his case for the existence of a “maximally great being” (i.e., a being who has such qualities as omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection). A maximally great being would also be a necessary being (i.e., it must be true that the being exists). One version of his argument is as follows:


1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

3. If a...
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