Faith ‘n Fiction Saturday :: June 13

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Amy has comes up with some interesting topics for this fun meme and today’s topic is no exception!

I am always interested in how Christians feel about speculative fiction. It seems to me that evangelical Christians generally (NOT ALWAYS) like to look things in very black and white terms and have everything grounded in reality. Speculative fiction by definition is not grounded in reality as we know it.

According to wikipedia, “speculative fiction is a fiction genre speculating about worlds that are unlike the real world in various important ways. In these contexts, it generally overlaps one or more of the following: science fiction, fantasy fiction, horror fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history.”

How do you feel about speculative fiction in general and specifically how do you feel about Christian speculative fiction? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you see to Christian speculative fiction?

For a few minutes I could not think of any speculative fiction I had ever really read…and then I remembered some secular novels I had really enjoyed that had been speculative…as I tried to think of some Christian speculative fiction I had read I remembered the hugely popular Left Behind Series… I think as far as the Christian genre goes for me that was a good introduction to speculative fiction and people went wild over it.  I worked at a Christian bookstore for time when the series was coming out and it was insanity when a new book was released.  I did read the first half of the series but soon lost interest as I thought I would wait for the real thing.  :)

I think the problem with Christian speculative fiction is that it can only go so far and since a lot of true speculative fiction would be dealing with things Christian’s frown upon…

I agree with Amy’s assessment that most Christian fiction seems to deal with the spiritual warfare and I think this is why speculative fiction will always be at a disadvantage in the Christian market as some people are quite taken aback by the idea of fantasy and other forms of speculative fiction.  Because spiritual warfare is real It think a lot of people don’t want to deal with it in a fiction book…of course there are exceptions like Frank Peretti who has been wildly popular.  I have never read one of his books but have many friends who love his writings… and now there are several others making a dent in the speculative fiction market.

I distinctly remember working at the bookstore and a lady being very upset that we carried The Chronicles of Narnia series…according to her it had no place in a Christian bookstore.  I remember being heart broken because that series woke up my imagination when I was in 5th grade!  But because it was dealing with something that could not be explained and had to be imagined many Christian’s object to the idea of the series having to do anything with Christianity.

To be honest I think I am one of those people that enjoy speculative fiction in movie or television form the most.  I love LOTR and enjoy re-watching the movies and there are several fantasy television shows and movie I enjoy as well.  :o)

So there you have my thoughts on today’s F’nFS topic… for more thoughts on this topic visit Amy of My Friend Amy.

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6 Responses to “Faith ‘n Fiction Saturday :: June 13”


  1. 1 Marvin D Wilson June 13, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I appreciate you thoughts and stance on this topic, and really agree with you. My own take is up now too. :)

    The Old Silly From Free Spirit Blog

  2. 2 Deborah June 13, 2009 at 9:19 am

    wow, she wanted to ban Narnia?? had she read the whole series or just saw that the word WITCH was in the title of one of the books? if she had read the books, she would have seen the obvious allegory of Christ through Aslan (Lion, Lamb etc)

  3. 3 Chère June 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    That’s really interesting…especially the part about Evangelical Christians thinking of things in black and white. That’s really true, at least in my experience.
    I feel like in a lot of ways, the church is anti-imagination. There are boundaries, surely, but I feel like almost anything fanciful is frowned upon. Just because something is speculative or imaginative doesn’t make it automatically sinful.
    It makes me sad, because I feel like God designed us to be dreamers. It’s a part of human nature. If we stifle that, people don’t become creative problem solvers and they have trouble relating to people in new or different circumstances. An active imagination helps you keep an open mind and handle new situations.
    And, on a slightly different note, I love Narnia :)

  4. 4 Amy @ My Friend Amy June 13, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I just don’t get not getting Narnia! ;)

    Love Chere’s comment…I think you’re right. Imagination is frowned upon…even though, obviously, God is quite imaginative.

  5. 5 Renee June 14, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I totally agree with you about LOTR I forgot to mention it in my post…how could I?! :-D

  6. 6 Taylor J. Beisler June 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Hi there…great article! Thanks for that! I am a Christian Young Adult Author, and I am one of those who threads Christ through my fantasy fiction work…I absolutely love C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, and those Christian writers definitely inspired me to get on a personal level with my characters and writing!
    Thanks for the post again!

    God bless,
    Taylor J. Beisler

    http://www.taylorbeisler.com
    http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ArintSaratir-WarriorsLight.html
    Author “Arint Saratir: Warrior’s Light” and Freelance Writer/Editor


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