To some people Christian fantasy fiction and biblical truth are incongruous in concept, contradictory in nature. Actually, Jesus used fantasy to teach truth. We do not think of it as such, but he did. In John 15 Jesus speaks of himself as the vine, believers as branches and his Father as the vine dresser. He was using fantasy to illustrate truth.
Christ Used Fantasy to Teach Truth
When Jesus talked about believers as being sheep, false teachers as being wolves, and himself as being “the door” to the sheepfold as well as being the Shepherd, he was using fantasy to teach truth. In his teaching he often used fantastic ideas to illustrate truth, to bring truth to life for the listeners.
True, he did not tell long fantasy stories, but nevertheless, he did indeed use fantasy. The real problem is not the use of fantasy, but the misuse. And I will grant that it is easily misused. But as the saying goes, let’s not throw out the baby with the wash. Good Christian fantasy fiction can bring truth to life. Preachers and teachers use their words and various illustrations to help their “sheep” understand biblical truth. Fantasy fiction can do the same. It can help people understand the application of truth to life.
A Biblical Truth I’ve Been Contemplating
A question I have been contemplating lately is, if “salvation works” or results in fruit, what does that mean? Does that mean every Christian will bear fruit? Does it mean if one is truly saved they will be submitting to Your lordship?
James says, “Show me Your faith without you works, and I will show You my faith by my works.” He also says that “faith without works is dead.” It strikes me that he does not say that faith without works means a person is unsaved. In fact he acknowledges the “faith” of those who show no works. However, that faith is dead. People look at that person and see no spiritual life.
On the other hand, James’ statement, “I will show You my faith by my works,” indicates that works make one’s faith visible in this world. He uses Abraham as an example. When you look at Abraham’s life you “see” his faith.
I worked with a pastor who in his preaching through Genesis declared something to the effect, “There is nothing good about Abraham’s nephew, Lot! He was unsaved and will suffer the flames of Hell!” Taking a look at Lot’s life, true, you see no works that would indicate he had faith. But Peter, led by the Holy Spirit in his writing speaks of him as “righteous Lot.” (II Peter 2:7)
Abraham showed his faith by his works, while Lot had faith but no works to show for it. Lot’s was a dead faith in the sense that he did not look any different than the world around him. His faith was of no worldly value, had no impact for God. One could not have told whether he was or was not a man of faith. Yet, he was in fact “righteous” in God’s eyes His works were all wood, hay, and stubble, and they all burned up with Sodom (in type).
We see in Abraham and Lot the believer who shows his faith by his works, and the believer who’s faith does not work, is dead to any value as a testimony to the Lord.
One problem with those who profess faith but do not live it is that this side of glory one cannot be sure that they are truly born again. Do they really believe or is their profession just so many words. That’s for God to sort out, for He knows the heart of each person, birth to death.
So what does this have to do with Christian fantasy fiction, since the story of Lot is history not fantasy? Well, in more than one of my fantasy stories I explore the biblical theme of the nature of faith—faith that works and faith that fails to produce works.
A Case in Point
In my Christian fantasy story, Son of Cain, Yennea, a slave girl exhibits a faith that works in the face of adversity. On the other hand, Dar’ock stands out in stark contrast, while with Garfe whether he comes to faith or not remains in question. To tell more would ruin the story, but nonetheless, Son of Cain is a Christian fantasy story that effectively illustrates faith and the wonder of God’s amazing grace. I’ve been told the ending will bring one to tears.
Son of Cain deals with harsh realities of life, sin is sin, but also with redemption. One reader after the first chapter or so thought, “Where in the world is this story going?” Then it took hold and she couldn’t put it down, and she found the ending powerful.
Even as Christ’s fantasy illustrations gave life to truth, so too does good Christian fantasy fiction. Give it a try! Good Christian fantasy will touch your heart and bring biblical truth to life.