1. notleia says:

    It feels weird to read this here, because I’d assume that anyone who visits this site would be open to fiction and not need apologetics for it. And while I’ve met people who just don’t get the function of fiction, they don’t go so far as to pretend to be morally superior because of it. That sounds like a special kind of jerkwad.

  2. HG Ferguson says:

    Good job.  I went to the “other site” you mention and it becomes quite clear the author there is of the non-creative temperament.  Much of this anti-fantasy etc. “fiction is a lie” nonsense is driven by just that.  People with non-creative temperaments sometimes (not always) dislike creativity.  A personal dislike becomes a “biblical” mandate therefore.  “I don’t like fantasy etc., it does not appeal to me, therefore it should appeal to no one.”  Personally I could say the same about the American male’s obsession with sports.  I do not care for it, but that does not make it sin before God if someone else does.  We need to understand this mentality drives a lot of anti-speculative fiction antipathy, this personal dislike — which is individual and personal, and not a God-ordained mandate.  Jotham’s FABLE (caps for emphasis and a bit of yelling) in Judges is just that, a fable, a made-up story to illustrate the truth of what was going on, and it’s in the Word of God!  Apparently the Lord doesn’t share the sentiment expressed by some.  “Myths” that support and teach biblical truth are not forbidden, only those which lie about the things of God and just spawn more questions than providing answers in line with scripture, as you so rightly point out.

    • While I concur as to the main gist of your and Copple’s arguments, I don’t think using Jotham’s fable is a good piece of evidence for the cause. Consider: there are plenty of times men and women sin in the Bible (the Levite and his Concubine from Judges, to name one particularly racy scene), so simply saying something occurs in the Bible is not a litmus test for whether we ourselves should emulate that behavior. The parables of Jesus are a much better example, as are the metaphors of Paul in the epistles.

      I completely agree with your analogy to sports; in fact, it’s a comparison I made once upon a time on this site (I believe back in ’11, to date myself). I usually watch the Super Bowl with my family, even though I have no interest in the game itself, simply to share in their joy and spend time with them. They likewise have gone to see theatre on my behalf. I also have defended the romance genre around the Internet, not because I have a personal interest in it, but because others have the same right to enjoy their genre as I do to enjoy mine. Short of actual sinning, we have the freedom in Christ to be the unique individuals we were created to be.

      • HG Ferguson says:

        I chose Jotham’s fable for its fantastical elements, which the parables do not possess, though I agree that the parables are excellent examples of Jesus “making up” a story to make His point.

  3. Matthias M. Hoefler says:

    I will read just about anything shy of erotica and horror, although I would read a horror story if it were done well. I see covers on redbox of horror DVDs and wish I could skip seeing them. I don’t want images like that in my head, mainly because (especially the stuff where a human body in a pose that ordinarily wouldn’t be possible) I feel like the evil side of the supernatural is bent on degrading man. I don’t want those images in my head.

    I’ve encountered a lot of anti-god pieces in ParaSpheres: Extending Beyond the Spheres of Literary and Genre Fiction: Fabulist and New Wave Fabulist Stories, which is a here. It’s a collection of fantasy stories, to oversimplify. Really, I almost slow down and pay attention when those people start “preaching,” just so I can critique, and also so I will have an idea what their message is should that come up. Should I talk with another Christian who read it and is troubled by it. Maybe I can help them, I figure. Maybe they can help me.

    In that vein, I tried to read The Davinci Code and made it to chapter eight before I was so bored I put the book down.

    Sex scenes, I skip down the page until they’re over. That may be in part because I’m single. Like why start the car (of lust) if you don’t have your liscence to drive it anywhere yet? I and our society are already so saturated with the stuff.

    Not sure why I don’t have a violence filter that runs the same way, but I don’t. I didn’t need to see “Kill Bill” when I heard it takes violence to a whole new level. But I would watch it if a group of friends wanted to.

     

    • notleia says:

      From what I’ve read of Dan Brown, he’s just too “hehehe, phallic symbol” and pseudo-intellectual for my taste.

      And then I had to find out just what the heck “New Wave Fabulist” is. Sounds like a (cross-)genre fiction take on magical realism, which is weird but only as scary as any postmodernism is. Which here may run the gamut from meh to tinfoil-hattery.

      They don’t have Paraspheres on Kindle, and I’m wondering if my curiosity is worth a buck + shipping and having another thing collecting dust on my shelf.

      Tangent: It has Ursula K LeGuin in it, and I’ve been meaning to read that Earthsea stuff of hers and see what ’60s feminist-flavored Bronze Age fantasy looks like. That sounds good for a couple blargs, and then I can compare-contrast LeGuin with whatshername that wrote The Dragonriders of Pern.

      • Matthias M. Hoefler says:

        Haven’t you a library where they could order Paraspheres? Save you the buck plus shipping.

         

        I really enjoyed Earthsea, but the book or so after that wasn’t as good. Which, I know, that’s saying nothing. But yeah, check out Earthsea.

      • Tangential to the topic at hand: the only Earthsea novel I enjoyed was the second one, mainly because it was about someone completely divorced from the (IMHO) boring hero that takes up the first and third book. But please do journey to Pern, Anne McCaffery writes great stories with both male and female characters of strength and power.

  4. Matthias M. Hoefler says:

    I will read just about anything shy of erotica and horror, although I would read a horror story if it were done well. I see covers on redbox of horror DVDs and wish I could skip seeing them. I don’t want images like that in my head, mainly because (especially the stuff where a human body in a pose that ordinarily wouldn’t be possible) I feel like the evil side of the supernatural is bent on degrading man. I don’t want those images in my head.

    I’ve encountered a lot of anti-god pieces in ParaSpheres: Extending Beyond the Spheres of Literary and Genre Fiction: Fabulist and New Wave Fabulist Stories, which is a here. It’s a collection of fantasy stories, to oversimplify. Really, I almost slow down and pay attention when those people start “preaching,” just so I can critique, and also so I will have an idea what their message is should that come up. Should I talk with another Christian who read it and is troubled by it. Maybe I can help them, I figure. Maybe they can help me.

    In that vein, I tried to read The Davinci Code and made it to chapter eight before I was so bored I put the book down.

    Sex scenes I skip down the page until they’re over. That may be in part because I’m single. Like why start the car (of lust) if you don’t have your license to drive it anywhere yet? I and our society are already so saturated with the stuff.

    Not sure why I don’t have a violence filter that runs the same way, but I don’t. I didn’t need to see “Kill Bill” when I heard it takes violence to a whole new level. But I would watch it if a group of friends wanted to.

     

  5. merechristian says:

    I agree with the author mostly, but differ somewhat. My philosophy for literature and art is as follows.

    1. Does it cause me to sin, or am I joining in sin by partaking in the art?

    2. Does it lead me or tempt me to sin later on?

    3. Does it cause me to take up bad theology.

    If the answer to the above is No, it is okay. If it is yes, then I have to decide based on if there is anything good in the art to make up for it.

    If the piece of art has good points, then I rule it as good and edifying. In other words, I would look at something like Soul Eater and call it morally fine. I would look at something like Rurouni Kenshin, and call it beyond fine but edifying. Both are ones I have read and enjoyed, because art needn’t have a mission or purpose. If it does it makes me want to read it more, but it is fine if it does not.

  6. Matthias M. Hoefler says:

    We can find something whose message we must reject as Christians, yet admire the choices made in the way it is put across, and learn from that, methinkin.

  7. Julie D says:

    I also think there’s a difference between going into literature which we know is from a pagan perspective–Buddhist, atheist, etc–and literature from Christian authors which may have…oh, there’s no simple way of saying this, so I’ll use an example instead. I read the first two His Dark Materials novels, knowing that the author is an atheist and has called his work the anti-Narnia, and was alert for heretical ideas.  It was more of a ‘see-how-others think’ experiment.  Sometimes even knowing that what material might be in a work prepares us to counter it.

What do you think?