Fantasy and a Christian Worldview, Part 10

Purpose. Fantasy, above all types of fiction, tells a story with purpose.

If you didn’t catch Mir’s comment to the last post, I encourage you to go back and read it. She is absolutely right about fairytales of old.

Interestingly, the “enlightened” culture of today has begun stripping them of consequences. (After all, we don’t want to traumatize children with such violence—so the wolf no longer eats Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, that sort of thing.)

Here’s what Philip Martin (a non-Christian, if I am to judge by what he writes), editor of A Writer’s Guide to Fantasy Literature, says about purpose:

Fantasy helps us develop good, if idealistic, goals. Fantasy stories reach for truth inside us, plumbing the deepest wells of belief and wonder. As children or adults, we still ache with pleasure when we read a story that reminds us that life is worthwhile and home precious, that the world is filled with good creatures as well as foe-beasts.

Fantasy is about journeying to strange worlds, but it is ultimately about arriving, in a state of surprise and grace, at a place inside ourselves….

Fantasy deals with Truths so large, so pure, that they can be expressed no other way.

Good goals, the truth inside us, belief and wonder, life as worthwhile, and home precious. This is why readers and moviegoers by the millions are drawn to fantasy.

Yet much of what’s in the marketplace is missing one ingredient—the Person who stirs us with the longing for more than we have now. He who is the Good, He who is Truth, who is the Cause of belief and wonder, the Giver of life, the One who makes His presence Home.

Good fantasy leads a reader to desire God, though he may not realize this is what he longs for. Christian fantasy leads a reader to desire God and subtly points to Him: “Here is He whom you seek.”

Yes, it can also achieve lesser goals—reinforcing important cultural and spiritual values. But the possibilities of fantasy in the hands of Christians …

Published in: on May 26, 2006 at 10:10 am  Comments (3)  
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