I’ve been thinking about the topic of the Church to the point that I posted a number of articles over at A Christian Worldview of Fiction a few weeks ago. Then lo and behold, the last two Christian speculative novels I read have touched upon the subject.
In one, Sharon Hinck‘s third Sword of Lyric novel, The Restorer’s Journey, the church falls under false teaching because an errant leader distorts the records, actual audio editions of the Verses. This is a clear analogy of the Church falling away from the truth by believing a lie—one perpetuated by forging a “new” record that presented lies as if they were truth.
The other, Sigmund Brouwer’s Broken Angel, the CSFF Blog Tour’s August feature, does something remarkably similar. In this dystopian science fiction, the church ostensibly has withdrawn to a cloistered theocratic country within the United States. However, the iron-fisted rule of the autocratic Ben Elohim prohibits reading and outlaws owning a Bible. The result is error compounding error.
In some ways, the authoritative ruler in each of these novels is a type of the Antichrist, though I don’t believe either Hinck or Brouwer intended to make an end-times statement. Rather, the themes seem consistent with what passes itself off today as Christianity—religious observance without any basis other than the say-so of the leader. In both novels, the leadership became the keeper and the disseminator of truth.
And in today’s churches? Too many congregations no longer take a Bible to church. Too many churches display selected verses on a screen via Powerpoint in a “user friendly” translation. Too many auditoriums full of people listen to a mega-star preacher rip out segments of Scripture from their context and distort the meaning beyond recognition.
Both The Restorer’s Journey and Broken Angel are full of thought-provoking content, but I find them both equally relevant when it comes to the issue of the Church and the easy slide into false teaching. What a warning. What perfect examples of the way in which Christian speculative fiction can tell the whole truth about the world.
Be sure to take a look at what other bloggers participating in the August CSFF Blog Tour have to say about Broken Angel: Brandon Barr, Justin Boyer, Keanan Brand, Jackie Castle, Valerie Comer, Karri Compton, Courtney, CSFF Blog Tour, Stacey Dale, D. G. D. Davidson, Janey DeMeo, Jeff Draper, April Erwin, Karina Fabian, Mark Goodyear, Andrea Graham, Katie Hart, Timothy Hicks, Christopher Hopper, Joleen Howell, Jason Joyner, Carol Keen, Magma, Margaret, Shannon McNear, Melissa Meeks, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Nissa, John W. Otte, Steve Rice, Ashley Rutherford, Hanna Sandvig, Chawna Schroeder, Mirtika or Mir’s Here, Sean Slagle, James Somers, Donna Swanson, Steve Trower, Laura Williams, Timothy Wise