LISTEN: Spirituality as Quest, Pt. 20 — Augustine’s “Confessions”; Reading a Story, Pt. 24 — How Much Does a Narrator Know? (Literature & Spirituality #24 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our passage from the Word of God today is 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 which reads: “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”

Our quote today is from W. H. Auden. He said: “A real book is not one that’s read, but one that reads us.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt, and “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

Our first topic for today is “Spirituality as Quest, Part 20” from the book, “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt.

Today, we will continue reading a selection from Augustine’s “Confessions.”

This selection is from Book I – Childhood / Chapter 5 – Augustine’s Prayer

Who shall bring me to rest in thee? Who will send thee into my heart so to overwhelm it that my sins shall be blotted out and I may embrace thee, my only good? What art thou to me? Have mercy that I may speak. What am I to thee that thou shouldst command me to love thee, and if I do it not, art angry and threatenest vast misery? Is it, then, a trifling sorrow not to love thee? It is not so to me. Tell me, by thy mercy, O Lord, my God, what thou art to me. “Say to my soul, I am your salvation.” So speak that I may hear. Behold, the ears of my heart are before thee, O Lord; open them and “say to my soul, I am your salvation.” I will hasten after that voice, and I will lay hold upon thee. Hide not thy face from me. Even if I die, let me see thy face lest I die.

Our second topic for today is “Reading a Story, Part 23” from the book, “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

Today, we’re taking a look at How Much Does a Narrator Know?

The all-knowing (or omniscient) narrator sees into the minds of all (or some) characters, moving when necessary from one to another. This is the point of view in “Godfather Death,” in which the narrator knows the feelings and motives of the father, of the doctor, and even of Death himself. Since he adds an occasional comment or opinion, this narrator may be said also to show editorial omniscience (as we can tell from his disapproving remark that the doctor “should have remembered” and his observation the the father did not understand “how wisely God shares our wealth and poverty”). A narrator who shows impartial omniscience presents the thoughts and actions of the characters, but does not judge them or comment on them.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.