First a bit of news. There are some exciting things happening with Christian fantasy and science fiction, including the rapid development of the CSFF Blog Tour. Thanks to one of our participants, the organization has a web site, a place to inform readers where the tour will be headed and who all is involved. If you’re interested, check out the CSFF Tour page.
Also, tomorrow Donita Paul will be doing a live chat with the ACFW book club which has spent the last week discussing her latest release, DragonKnight. Here is the announcement from the Book Club Coordinator:
The ACFW Book Club will be chatting with Donita K. Paul, www.donitakpaul.com, Tuesday night, September 5, at 7:00 PM CT. Everyone is welcome, so feel free to forward this email to anyone who would be interested in attending. We have just finished reading Donita’s book, DragonKnight. Our discussion will include, but is not limited to, this book. Please drop by and make Donita feel welcome! 8 PM ET 7 PM CT 6 PM MT 5 PM PT
Here is the link to the ***NEW*** ACFW chat room: www.acfw.com/fchat
You do NOT have to register. Just type in a username and login.
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Maybe in part because of a question to Donita about one of her characters, Paladin, who appears to be a Christ figure, I’ve been thinking about what part God should play in our fantasy.
Some Christian authors take the tack of showing God by creating a fantasy religion that mirrors Christianity. Others show Him by creating a type of Christ who enters into the story. Still others only allude to Him while showing His followers engaged in activity to combat His enemy.
It strikes me that in these various methods of “dealing with God” in our stories, we may unintentionally be lessening His impact. Rarely is God the hero of the story.
Instead, in the words of Christopher Vogler in The Writer’s Journey, drawn from the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell, God is reduced to the status of mentor, a wise old man or woman:
[The Mentor] stands for the bond between parent and child, teacher and student, doctor and patient, god and man.
It seems to me, then, that the protagonist as hero is a subtle way of supplanting God’s powerful, daily presence that makes all things possible. Vogler again:
It seems obvious that the hero should be the one to act in this climactic moment. But many writers make the mistake of having the hero rescued from death by a timely intervention from an Ally – the equivalent of the cavalry coming to save the day. Heroes can get surprise assistance, but it’s best for the hero to be the one to perform the decisive action; to deliver the death blow to fear or the Shadow; to be active rather than passive, at this [the climax] of all times.
My question. If the protagonist is the hero and he is to render the deathblow, what role does that leave for God?
OK, I have another question. Shouldn’t we as Christian authors, because of the conviction of our worldview, write in a way that sets us apart from the mythic form of the rest of society?