Its funny what you remember from your college classes. For a lot of people the word college is a noun describing a place in life you were merely trying to pass through as quickly as possible so you could get on to living. But not so for me, college – even my crazy independent-fundamentalist college, was a place to be shaped and learn wisdom that I could use in the missions field of North America.
One of the lessons I remember from college was my homeletics professor telling us that preachers with the best illustrations are those who’ve lived the most interesting lives, experiencing the gripping grace of God in twilight moments, and have made it a habit to feed upon penetrating literature writers. Well as a young preacher I’m definitely coming up short in all three areas but one I’m very aware of trying to grow in is my literary diet and Albert Camus has been a recent impetus to continue on in that growth. I chose him because he was influential in another persons life that was my teacher during seminary.
Professor William Edgar is that person. William (Bill) was saved through the evangelistic efforts of Francis Schaeffer who reached out to Bill while he was backpacking through the Swiss Alps and reading the famed existential writer Albert Camus. I didn’t understand then what I understand now concerning what it must have been like for Bill Edgar to be wrestling with the meaning of life while reading Camus.
There is a brutal starkness to Camus. Angst is a fitting word for it. Over against Camus’ angst Bill came to know the deeper, more personal and hopeful ‘anguish’ of Christ. I plan on posting some musings from “The Stranger” soon.
For the time being here’s a video short inspired by “The Stranger”. Keep in mind that the beginning of the book and the end aren’t in this video.