The question which concerns me today remains one very close to my heart: why powerful Christian fantasy? I must admit as I try to answer this question that my favorite genre has always been fantasy. However, things have changed a lot since I was swept up in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle and Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern. Now I find them very depressing. Why? They show nothing of spiritual truth. Even Lord of the Rings, great as it is, has a basic sadness without a true messiah and Holy Spirit.
The Chronicles of Narnia does better. But again, great as it is, it is basically fantastic worldly entertainment. It provides a certain religious satisfaction, yet the reality of rebirth into the Kingdom of God filled with the power of the Holy Spirit is completely missing.
The wonder & joy answers for me: why powerful Christian fantasy?
Reading the wonderful fantasy series I’ve just mentioned filled me with amazement and joy. They were all read before I met our Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. This all happened before Dungeons & Dragons or any of the role-playing games. It took place, for me, before video games existed.
My desire to produce powerful, spiritually-true fantasy was born as I read about D&D. The Lord would never let me get into that world. But, I see many authors I respect who have come from that paradigm. I suspect that David G. Johnson’s Chadash Chronicles were birthed out of the desire for fantasy experienced in role-playing. They give us an amazing fantasy experience with a redemptive foundation.
But I still want more — transformed readers
I’d be surprised to hear of life-transforming reactions to Chadash. But the basics are there. I’d love to hear David’s stories of reader reactions to his fiction. But, that’s what I expect of Christian fantasy.
The power at work within us can certainly produce fiction of power. I’ve seen some of that. I find Guy Stanton III’s Warrior Kind series more satisfying spiritually. Several times, while reading this series over and over again, I have been brought to worship and praise of Jesus. Guy’s warrior’s lives show the Truth of rebirth. I suspect Guy can share testimonies of readers who were blessed by reading the five books.
Another series which produces this level of reaction in me is The Outlaw Preacher (4 Book Series) John Andrews. The spiritual reality shared by this urban fantasy series transformed my idea of what can be done. As I mention in the review of the first book in the series, I can’t really tell if it’s urban fantasy or a true testimony. Again, it brought me to worship of Jesus several times.
Vikki Kestell’s NanoStealth series reveals yet another way to add true spiritual power to fantasy—urban fantasy again. But my question simply grows—
Why powerful Christian fantasy meets this need in me
Because this is where I live. The Spirit-filled life has become a fantasy to most of the church in America and Europe today. I live it every day. Yet, when I share it with most people the fantastic nature of my daily experience shuts many people down immediately. The supernatural is seen as fiction or occultic by almost everyone today in America and Europe [no proof, just a general sense of things].
I talk with the Lord all the time. Somedays I’m just too out of it, but normally we talk several times a day. He does little supernatural stuff for me in my life all the time—often 2-3 times a day. I absolutely rely upon Him for wisdom and direction. He does big miracles regularly, if not often. I have a strong sense of being a knight in service to a wonderful King.
This type of life fits fantasy well
Yet, even there I have to tone it down. The reality of Christian living is really more than any nominal- or non-believer can handle. Yet there are thousands of believers living life like this.
I’ve developed entire interacting cultures within which I can tell my story. A weak king finds himself eliminated from society in a religious coup. This religion hates true believers like Hitler hated Jews—for many of the same reasons.
This all takes place in Ferrelär, one of three nations on the Isle of Light, Ferellon. I’ve developed a new system of weight, time, measurement, and so on to help readers move outside of direct conviction as they read the tale.
Will it work?
Only time will tell. But I’m attempting, by the grace of God, to write a story which would have touched me deeply. I’m praying for anointed writing which will pierce the darkness, dividing soul from spirit, good from evil, truth from the Lie. I know God has the power to do this—IF I can stay out of the way.
What’s your plan?
If the Lord has called you to write, surely He has shown you a plan and/or method.
- So, what is it?
- What questions do you have?
- What obstacles are preventing you from accomplishing your goal?
- What is the goal?
- Who is your audience?
- What kind of readers reacts positively to your efforts?
- and the list goes on…
I have all these questions and no real answers yet. But, I am determined to do what He has called me to do. I have faith he’ll show me in plenty of time to get it done.