1. Esther says:

    And yet, it seems that part of the objection that some Christians have to fantasy literature is that it is a “lie”. For this reason, they also object to science fiction or any other fiction. Rational or irrational, a lie is a lie, they claim.

    They base this belief on the scriptures that our “yes should be yes and our no, no”, and “do not bear false witness”.

    How does a bible-believing Christian writer of fantasy fiction reconcile this?

    • Esther, way back in 2007, on the old Speculative Faith site, I took a crack at that one:

      2. ‘Christians shouldn’t bother about fiction, which is lies’

      This [objection] I’m a little vague about, because I’ve only heard that frankly silly idea in passing, and followed quickly by rebuttals. Perhaps some commentators can contribute anecdotes in which they’ve heard this objection more clearly made, most often, I would surmise, by more-“fundamentalist” folks.

      However, the rebuttals are, by the way, rather easy to form and remember: 1) Jesus himself taught in fictitious parables, 2) nowhere in the Bible are stories compared to “lies” or forbidden from being told, 3) if you’re legalistic about banning fiction altogether, you’re surely legalistic about a darn lot of things too, which of course ignores Grace.

      Still that’s just a basic overview — if I wrote more about it, I’d probably capitalize on the truth that Jesus’ parables were “lies” (as were His comparisons of the Kingdom to a man buying a field, etc.). The Psalms’ artistic excellent would come into play too.

      But I’m also sure Rebecca’s written more about the whole “fiction is lies” objection. …

  2. Esther, Stephen’s answer is very good. I’d simply add that I don’t believe a statement or story can be considered a lie if there is no intention to deceive. If I say, What I’m about to tell you did not happen, can what I then say be considered a lie?

    Essentially when an author writes a novel he is saying, This story didn’t actually take place.

    That may bring up another question, however. Why intentionally write something that is not true. Wait a bit. Something that is an imagined story that did not happen can still convey truth. Stephen’s example of Christ’s parables illustrate this point clearly.

    In other words, the “made up” can be revealers of what’s real, what’s true. In essence, this is why I write fantasy. I think people can see truth in an imagined world with make-believe characters. Their struggle points to our struggle.

    Thanks for the thoughtful question.


What do you think?