Contributor Two Contributor Two
BOOKS I LOVE: Larry Gatlin
Contributor Two Contributor Two
Larry Gatlin, country legend and Homecoming Friend, takes us on a brief journey through two books guaranteed to challenge the sometime-negative Christian view of the secular arts.

Who is John Galt? Who is Richard Wagner? Or David or Rahab or Simon, the denier, Peter?

Well, let’s review. John Galt is the “Super Hero” of Ayn Rand’s Classic, Atlas Shrugged. I know, I know, Ayn Rand was an avowed atheist, so why am I writing about her book? And, there are some “relationships” in the book that were not really the “bride being walked lovingly down the aisle by the father for the exchange of rings” type of relationships, etc. Well, the answer is, there are a lot of “atheists” in the Bible, and David and Bathsheba were not exactly playing Monopoly out there on the veranda, so, give me a  ghtin’ chance! Atlas Shrugged is one of the most important books I have ever read. Not only was Ayn Rand a great storyteller, she was a seer—a prophet. The question that immediately came to my mind, when I read it the  rst time was, “How in the world could a recent Russian immigrant to the US have such insight into the shenanigans being played out in the ivory towers of power in Washington?” Well, upon my second reading in 2010, I had to ask that question again, and the same answer comes back to me, “It doesn’t matter how she knew it...she did.” No, I do not believe every philosophy that she espouses, but Atlas Shrugged, more than any other book, makes me want to see a return to the America of my youth. The America where faith, hard work and honesty were the building blocks upon which a life was built, and a hand up was thought to be better than a handout. No more preaching— read Atlas Shrugged for yourself, and we will talk later.

Now to the genius/monster, Richard Wagner. Wagner: The Terrible Man and His Truthful Art. The very first sentence of the very first page of the introduction reads like this: “How is it possible for a seriously flawed human being to produce art that is good, true and beautiful?” From this very first sentence I was hooked. I, Larry Gatlin am a seriously flawed man who has also tried to create art that is good, true and beautiful. Father M. Owen Lee is a Catholic priest and Professor Emeritus of Classics at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. Father Owen’s in-depth description of Wagner’s many faults and failures, and his assertions that this giant of composition — arguably the greatest composer of all time, was, in fact, trying to purify, cleanse and save himself by writing his compositions. I simply cannot do this book justice in this short space. I do know this: Wagner: The Terrible Man and His Truthful Art, shined a very bright light into my soul, into my heart, into the innermost regions of my being, and helped me better understand what Larry Wayne Gatlin is all about. For those of you who don’t particularly care for opera, Wagner, or, for that matter, Larry Wayne Gatlin, read it anyway! Please! It is illuminating. Remember, some seriously flawed people in our Holy Bible, are responsible for some heroic and wondrous deeds. Does the name David ring a bell? How about Rahab the harlot? How about Simon, the denier, Peter? The simple fact is that we are all human, all except the GREAT GOD who gives us talent...the talent to uplift our fellow men. Enter the seriously flawed, Richard Wagner in Wagner: The Terrible Man and His Truthful Art. Give it a look. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!