A Landon Snow Reprise; More on God

The granddaddy of the CSFF Blog Tour, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA), is featuring the same book we highlighted in November. I have learned a lot from participation in CFBA and want to continue supporting their efforts, and to top it off, I believe in Randy Mortenson as a writer. So, it’s a privilege to discuss his work once again.

The only thing I wondered about was how to avoid something that is one of my pet peeves in fiction—repetition, with redundancy coming in a close second. I had to ask, is there anything new I can offer the faithful readers at A Christian Worldview of Fiction?

Happily, yes. There is something of significance I neglected to put in my previous posts about Landon Snow and the Island of Arcanum. This little tidbit will give you a bit of insight as to the quality of the Landon Snow books.

A Landon Snow short story will appear in the December issue of Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine for kids and, in fact, is already on their web site.

This is HUGE, as anyone knows who writes for children. Publication by this much-sought-after periodical is pretty close to an endorsement. Plus, it’s a great way for readers to sample the Landon Snow experience and for parents to know that this is a series worth investing in.

Take a break some time today and enjoy “Christmas Lights” by R. K. Mortenson.

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In the discussion of a Christian worldview of God, I raised some questions Monday that I neglected to answer:

Does this side of God belong in our fiction? And if so, how do we show it without making Him—and by extension, His people who should be His hands and feet in the world—look cold, uncaring?

To the first question, I give an enthusiastic Yes, showing this side of God belongs. In that particular post I was referring to God’s refusal to renege on His pronounced judgment on Judah, to the point that He didn’t want Jeremiah to pray for them, even stating He did not accept their fasting or sacrifices. It makes God look, to the Twenty-first Century Christian in America as … well, intolerant, the one Thou-shalt-not to which our society ascribes.

So what? This is God revealing Himself—are we to edit Him? He wanted us to know this was the way He reacts to sin—are we to alter His character so as not to offend our modern (or postmodern) sensibilities?

But if an author portrays God in this light, and even more so, if he portrays God’s people, by extension, in this light, won’t that be fuel for the secular fire waiting to roast all things Christian?

My temptation is to answer that question with another “So what?” But here I think there’s a difference. We believers are to be light to our world, not cudgels. So how are we to show God as a holy judge who metes out punishment to His disobedient people?

I suggest it must be done by showing more than that side of His character. He is holy. He is a judge. He does mete out punishment. But He also loves infinitely. He also took the punishment on Himself. And while we were yet sinners, He extended grace.

I think the scene that represents this balance most to me is Jesus about to enter Jerusalem, where one of His first acts would be to take a whip to the people fouling up the temple with their greed and disobedience and one of His last would be to endure crucifixion. There He stood looking at the lost city, and He cried. He lamented the rejection of the people He desired to gather under His protection. In that moment, it’s as if God allowed us to see the unity of His complex character, the mingling of His justice and mercy, His holiness and compassion.

For a fiction writer to show God in that light is most desirable, I think.

Published in: on November 29, 2006 at 11:58 am  Comments (2)  

2 Comments

  1. My approach to this would be similar to how I evangelize. I take the hardline with those of the faith, those who should know better, like Christ did with the Pharisees. And while I don’t compromise the Truth with unbelievers, I follow Paul’s strategy with the philosophers of Mars Hill and search for some aspect of their current lifestyle that can be used to encourage them to obey the gospel.

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  2. Interesting approach, Kameron. My only … not disagreement, really, but departure, I guess, would be in the matter of equating Christians with Pharisees. The Pharisees were not true God-followers because they rejected the promised Messiah, though He stood right in front of them.

    Now, there are religious folk who claim to know God, that we probably should be taking a hard line with. Instead we tend to soft-peddle the truth with them—that tolerance thing again, and here in America our firm belief in the “right” of freedom of religion. (I suspect our Founding Fathers would have done considerable editing if they knew where we’d end up because of the way they wrote the First Amendment).

    Becky

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