about Daniel Defoe

If a Christian were to read only two novels in his or her life, I recommend they be Pilgrim's Progress and Robinson Crusoe. "Pilgrim's Progress," you might say, "I understand, because it is an allegory of the Christian life; it is a Christian book. But why Robinson Crusoe?"

There have been so many abridgments and corruptions, both in print and film, of Robinson Crusoe that the question is to be expected. But as you read this complete and unabridged version, which apparently very few today have read, you will find that it is very much a Christian book. In fact, I remain undecided as to which—Pilgrim's Progress or Robinson Crusoe—is the very best Christian fiction ever written.

Daniel Defoe has masterfully written Robinson Crusoe. Although it is mostly narrative, unlike most narratives, Defoe has managed to write it in a way that thoroughly engrosses the reader. Robinson Crusoe is a near perfect mixture of character development, colourful setting, and high adventure wound around the theme of God having His sovereign way with His elect. This book will not only thrill you with its many adventures (the famous shipwreck on the island off the coast of Venezuela is only one of them), but it will also give you food for reflection.

By the way, Defoe was a zealous Presbyterian who was personally familiar with adventure. He was imprisoned and pilloried for writing a tract that mocked the Anglican Church's persecution of dissenters, participated in the Monmouth Rebellion against the Roman Catholic James II, and became an agent for William III. He produced more than 500 books, pamphlets, and tracts, and is generally considered the father of the modern novel and of journalism (from the lead article to the obituary) as we know it today.