Literature, then, serves to deepen and to extend human greatness through the nurture of beauty, understanding, and compassion.  In none of these ways, of course, can literature, unless it be the literature of the Christian faith, lead us to the City of God, but it may make our life in the city of man far more a thing of joy and meaning and humanity, and that in itself is no small achievement.  Great literature may not be a Jacob’s ladder by which we can climb to heaven, but it provides an invaluable staff with which to walk the earth.”

Roland M. Frye
Perspective on Man: Literature and the Christian Tradition (Westminster Press, 1961)