Robinson Crusoe On Repentance

I read a children’s version of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe when I was a kid, and I remembered the story being interesting enough that I wanted to try the real thing.

Considered by many to be the first novel written in English, Robinson Crusoe is an interesting tale of a man (who the book is named after) who lives for over 20 years by himself on a deserted island after being shipwrecked there.

One thing that surprised me a little bit was how much of the book was dedicated to Robinson’s thoughts on theology. He considers a few topics (sin, repentance, providence, the extent to which God reveals Himself in nature vs. revelation in scripture), and over the course of his time on the island, becomes very devout in his desire to follow God.

Unfortunately, these religious passages grow a little tedious, as Crusoe basically makes the same arguments over and over. However, I liked the following thoughts on sin and repentance:
“…I have since often observed how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such cases—namely, that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed for the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.”
I think he’s right on target here. So often we fail to admit that we’re in the wrong because of how it will make us look. We don’t generally have the same qualms when we misbehave in the first place.


Bob Walker 4/3/09, 5:45 PM  

Wow, Luke. Thanks for finding that.

Luke Dockery 4/7/09, 10:25 AM  


Yeah, I liked the quote a lot. I ended up liking the book pretty well overall, but even if I hated it, it would've been worth it to find the quote.

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