Fantasy and a Christian Worldview, Part 23


First an announcement. Starting next Monday I will join a group of bloggers for the second stop in the SF/Fantasy blog tour. Our focus will be on Donita K. Paul, author of the Dragon Keeper series published by WaterBrook. Be sure to stop by for the three-day event, tell your friends, and check out the other sites that will be featuring Ms. Paul.

I thought I knew what I would say today: evil manifests itself internally in my sin nature, externally in human culture, and externally in the fallen natural world of earthquakes and tidal waves, disease, and ultimately death. All this from the rebellion of the angel most glorious whose dissatisfaction with what God gave him prompted him to rebel.

Then I read Beth Goddard’s post yesterday:

Evil does not exist, at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart.

When I read that, I was reminded of the phrase in the book of Judges—the book that recounts horrible things like a gang rape and murder—explaining the mayhem: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

No King. Not that God is not still on the throne. But when we deny Him His rightful place, He does exactly as He said He would:

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator … For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions … And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper (Rom. 1:24-28 – NASB)

Next follows a list of evil things people do to one another and to themselves.

Certainly the first step to combat evil is to recognize God as the sovereign King.

I suppose one reason I am drawn to high fantasy is because that seems to be the central motif—good, in the end, triumphant over evil and elevated to a ruling position. Philip Martin in The Writer’s Guide to Fantasy Literature says:

High fantasy tends to view Evil as a great force, sometimes personified. The Dark Lord wages a relentless campaign against the beleaguered forces of Good. People (and animals) take sides; they enter the fray on one side or the other, sometimes covertly. Sometimes they find themselves fooled at first, or change sides in the course of the story. The back-and-forth struggle is clearly drawn, often in near-religious terms: right versus wrong … At some point … high fantasy often comes down to a big battle or duel … Goodness triumphs, the Dark Lord is crushed—or forced to slink away ignominiously, evil teeth gnashing.

And those of us who love high fantasy cheer. Maybe cry, too, because we long for the day that the fantasy will turn to reality.

Published in: on June 14, 2006 at 10:41 am  Comments (12)  
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