Christian Fantasy Myth Making
Christian Fantasy Myth Illuminates Truth
When I speak of Christian Fantasy Myth Illuminating Truth I am speaking of solid, good, meaningful Christian fantasy, not mere fluff.
One definition of myth is an imaginary or fictitious thing or person, and philosophically myth is defined as an allegory. Myth comes to us via Latin from a Greek word that means a fable. C.S. Lewis’ Aslan, from his Chronicles of Narnia fits the definition of myth, but Aslan is myth illuminating truth. Through this fantasy fiction myth—Aslan being put to death on a stone table—the truth of what Christ accomplished through His death on the cross is illuminated in a way that touches the heart—not any more powerful than the truth itself, but rather, a powerful witness to the truth.
Some people are skeptical of such ideas, and yet Christ Himself used story to illuminate truth, such as the story of the sower. Some seed fell on the hard trodden path—did not sink into the heart allowing Satan (pictured as a bird of the air) to snatch the truth away. Within the story the seed falls on four types of ground. Christ indicates that the seed is the word of God. It is obvious that the purpose of the story is to illuminate the hearer’s understanding relative to different ways people respond to the word of God.
The purpose of myth making Christian fantasy fiction is to illuminate the truth, to illustrate how the truth applies to life.
Based on the above definition of myth, in writing my Accidental Heroes series I have created a mythology. Thrude is a mythical land, and miffits are mythical people, as are dwarves, elves, uffits and the like, and the story line has an allegorical aspect to it. It is not allegory in the express sense of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, but more in the general sense of Lewis’ Narnia stories—elements of allegory but not overarching allegory. The purpose of my stories is to illuminate truth in such a way that the reader will think, “Ah, so that is how that truth applies to life! I understand it better now.”
Not All Christian Fantasy Illuminates Truth
Sometime back a “Christian” author asked me to review his book. The story was interesting, but it perverted the truth rather than illuminating it. My response as a reader was, “What? This story certainly does not square with Scripture.” The writer was not entirely happy with my review. I truthfully noted that his story was well written and interesting, but also that it failed to illuminate the purported “truth” of its primary premise.
Do all of my stories “hit the nail on the head” when it comes to illustrating truth? My readers will have to ascertain that, but probably not. However, I do hope that at the least, they plant a seed of insight and do not twist the truth into error. When myth becomes error then it becomes myth in the more traditional sense of being mere fabrication without any real meaningful veracity to its content.
In a sense the word “Christian” has lost any sense of meaningful content. The word has become a generalization that overarches a vast array of religious groups, from false cults to those committed to mere tradition to personality cults to the truly biblical. Similarly, the word “evangelical” narrows things down but little. For instance, there are those who claim to be evangelical and yet decry the idea of biblical inspiration, laugh at the idea of a literal Hell, and even have their doubts about heaven.
What is my point? It is just this: For someone to say that they write Christian fantasy fiction means very little. One must know how the author defines Christian. I define Christian as one who believes the Bible in its entirety is the inspired word of God, Christ was born of a virgin, died for our sins, and rose victorious over death and offers salvation by grace through faith to all who believe, and that He is coming again. My worldview is fully grounded in the truth of the Word of God. So for my the creation of a Christian fantasy myth is to create a story that illuminates biblical truth—helps one understand how truth applies to life.
What are your thoughts on Christian fantasy fiction and the making of myth? I invite you to engage with me on this fascinating topic.