When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world. The wartime posters told us that Careless Talk costs Lives. It is equally true that Careless Lives cost Talk. Our careless lives set the outer world talking; and we give them grounds for talking in a way that throws doubt on the truth of Christianity itself.
The beam in our own eye is harder to detect, although - or more accurately because - to detect it, and remove it, is vastly more important on elementary moral grounds, and commonly more important in terms of direct human consequences as well. Intellectuals have historically played a critical function in performing these tasks, and [Ivan] Illich is right to observe that claims to scientific expertise and special knowledge are often used as a device.
I see now that dismissing YA books because you're not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you're not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I've discovered a previously ignored room at the back of the bookstore that's filled with masterpieces I've never heard of.
Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance. The appearance of reality is necessary to make any passion agreeably represented, and to be able to move others we must be moved ourselves, or at least seem to be so, upon some probable grounds.