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Ernest Hemingway

Joseph M. Stowell, "Just a Closer Walk," Sunday Digest, December 1997-February 1998, pp. 2-3

Ernest Hemingway, the literary genius, said this about his life: "I live in a vacuum that is as lonely as a radio tube when the batteries are dead, and there is no current to plug into."

This is a startling statement, given the fact that Hemingway lived his life in a way that would be the envy of any person who had bought in to the values of our modern society. Hemingway was known for his tough-guy image and globe-rotting pilgrimages to exotic places. He was a big-game hunter, a bull-fighter, a man who could drink others under the table. He was married four times and lived his life seemingly without moral restraint or conscience. But on a sunny Sunday morning in Idaho, he pulverized his head with a shotgun blast.

There was another side to Hemingway's life, one that few people knew about. He grew up in an evangelical Christian home in Oak Park, Illinois. His grandparents were missionaries, and his father was a devoted churchman and friend of evangelist D. L. Moody. Hemingway's family conformed to the strictest codes of Christianity, and as a boy and young man, he was active in his church.

Then came World War I. As a war correspondent, Hemingway saw death and despair all around him. His youthful enthusiasm for Christianity soured, and he eventually rejected the faith in Christ that he once had embraced.