Martin, Lisa, Believing is Not the Same as Being Saved. Edmonton AB: University of Alberta Press, 2017. Pp. 87. $ 19.95 paper.Among other things, the title of Lisa Martin’s new book evokes the doctrine of salvation by faith, not works. Despite the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which could make the title resonate beyond the book and poem it identifies, I was troubled by it because the doctrine has been tainted for me by evangelicals who continue to support Donald Trump, even after the president’s disgraceful public response to the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. American evangelicals have ignored or watered down the dogma of salvation by faith so much that it has been distorted into what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called cheap grace in The Cost of Discipleship.For Martin, however, believing is an act that requires imagination, and imagining is the poet’s task. The title poem, which is also the first, is about several kinds of death, the most dramatic of which is the physical one of a teenage girl. A fellow teenager heroically recovered the girl’s corpse, and the adult speaker of the poem vividly remembered both her death and the recovery of her body. The
Religion and the Arts – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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