Should We Be Reading Fiction? – Spurgeon Speaks
I have often warned young people to prioritize their reading in favor of biography, history, and theology and generally keep away from fiction—not absolutely, but generally. Here Charles Spurgeon takes an even more radical stance:
How many young people there are whose hearts are just a road along which thoughts of levity and desires for amusement are continually going! How many precious hours are wasted over the novels of the day! I think that one of the worst enemies of the Gospel of Christ, at the present time, is to be found in the fiction of the day. People get these worthless books and sit, and sit—forgetful of the duties of this world and of all that relates to the world to come—just losing themselves in the story of the hero or heroine. I have seen them shedding tears over things that never happened, as if there were not enough real sorrows in the world for us to grieve over! So these feet of fictitious personages, these feet of foolish frivolities, these feet of mere nonsense, or worse, keep traversing the hearts of men and making them hard so that the Gospel cannot enter.
from THE SEED BY THE WAYSIDE, NO. 2843, a sermon, DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 13, 1888. “As he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.” Luke 8:5.