Monday, April 8, 2013

Faith and Fiction

I'm not entirely sure I should be sharing this struggle on the Internet, but it seems like an important topic to tackle.

I am a Christian. I believe in God. I believe in Heaven and Hell and being Saved. I grew up in church, I will raise my daughter in church.

However, I also write fantasy with religious overtones. Obvious religious overtones that are completely figments of my imagination, and that a lot of Evangelicals, and some more progressive, Christians would find completely offensive. I struggle with that because I feel that what I write and my relationship with God seem to be pretty mutually exclusive on the surface.

Then I consider that one of my editors is in Seminary and that she isn't damning me to Hell and I think I might be good. But I know that a lot of members of my family, and the church I grew up in, would never speak to me again if they read my book.

It's just fiction. I'm not trying to rewrite the Bible. I'm just telling a story with a familiar cast of characters. But still, when someone asks me what I'm working on, I debate how much to tell them.

What do you think? Does anyone else have trouble reconciling their personal faith with the type of fiction they write? 

1 comment:

  1. The thing about this story that you're writing is that it is fiction. You're not trying to claim that it is real. The other thing is that fiction always relates to reality. While I don't necessarily agree without the theology in your novel (you're doing theology! did you know that?!), you are touching on specific topics that almost every one has wondered about. They want to know about the involvement of Devils and Angels in their life. They wonder about the apocalypse. They think about free will and how much free will an individual actually has (which you have explicitly stated that humans have free will, yet then there is manipulation, so is it really free). You've touched on atonement theology, resurrection, eschatology, the problem of evil, ecclesiology and so many more that I'm going to stop throwing "ologies" at you.

    I don't know many people who believe that the Bible is 100% truth in that every event in it happened. There is truth in it and it is truth, but there are metaphors, stories, parables etc that are told in the Scriptures that did not actually happen. Hell, Jesus tells stories all the freakin' time, and there was no damnation for him!

    To me, all you're doing, is touching on faith through fiction. Which is something that the Bible teaches us how to do, through it's own stories.