According to the great American novelist Mark Twain a classic is defined as, A book which people praise and don't read. However, Os Guinness an author and senior member of the Trinity Forum along with Louise Cowman, author and a professor of literature at the University of Dallas present a clear and concise articulation refuting Twains famous quote in their book, Invitation to the Classics.
Invitation to the Classics serves two purposes:
1. To introduce the Western literary masterworks in a clear and simple style, while reawakening Western people to the vibrant literary heritage and its relationship to the Christian faith.
2. To inspire Christians to see the worth of the classics and their responsibility to them.
This literary guide is divided into four components: Introduction: The Purpose of Invitation to the Classics, The Importance of the Classics, and The Classics are not the Canon. From there the authors explore seventy-eight of the best known classics of Western Civilization from Homers Iliad and the Odyssey to Contemporary Writers. Each classic gives you information on the author, information on the historical time period in which the classic was authored, major themes within the classic, issues to explore and resources for further study.
Invitation to the Classics is an excellent resource for individuals who are beginning their study of the classics for the first time or those who are revisiting them again like a long lost friend.
As C.S. Lewis once said, We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period, And that means the old booksThe only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only be reading the old books.
I have wanted this book for a long time and when it was offered at a sale price I just had to have it. As a homeschool mom I would highly recommend it for a high school literature class in the classics. Well written and informative.
This is not a Cliff Notes of the classics; however, it provides an excellent introduction to authors and one or two of their works. This is an excellent way to quickly learn about a particular author and a very short and quick discussion on that author's work. This book invites to reader not to read but to study the selected works.
"Invitation to the Classics" is a must buy for Christians seeking to understand the original theorists and commentators, the giants of human understanding, debate, and wisdom. The "Know Thyself" of Christian Apology is where most of us believers finish with exploring classical writers. "Knowing the enemy" (to simplify those positions contradictory to Scripture) is the important second half of a well-rounded education. "Invitation" brought me a wealthy overview and a starting point to deeper exploration that only strengthens my Christian foundation by being familiar with where the critique originally comes, in its historic context."