Fantasy Friday and Beating Dragons

So today I’m trying to catch up on blogging duties. I have subscribed to a number of blogs via Bloglines but haven’t had the chance in the last couple weeks to check in on them.

One that had multiple posts I began skimming is The Rabbit Room, a team blog hosted by Andrew Peterson, author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. As I read the titles of the various posts, I paused at Telling the Story: The Jesus Storybook Bible. What caught my eye was the fact that Andrew was relating this book to his six year old daughter and it just so happens I’m looking for a present (yes, still looking—you get extra time when you were sick pre-Christmas) for a six year old.

(I love to make a big production of simple stories. Have you notice? 😉 ) The snippet from Andrew’s post I had to read at Bloglines didn’t tell me enough, so I clicked on over to the original. Lo and behold, the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones, also came across the post and left a comment. Among other things, she gave one of the greatest quotes about fantasy I’ve read:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
– G K Chesterton

But there’s more. Over at Sally Lloyd-Jones’ site, there’s an excerpt from The Jesus Storybook Bible:

It’s like an adventure story about a young Hero who came from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne, everything to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that have come true in real life.

You see, the best thing about this story is—it’s true.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this story. And at the center of the Story there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.

And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the baby that would one day—but wait, our story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning…”

So what does any of this have to do with fantasy? As I see it, Christian fantasy points to the True Story. That’s its job. Subtly or overtly—both have their place. Medieval, classic, fairytale or whatever other type of fantasy you want to name, it doesn’t really matter. If it is Christian, it points in some way to the True Story. This is not “Christian worldview” or a story written by a Christian. This is not story osmosis whereby the work soaks up the author’s beliefs simply because it is his product.

This, as I see it, is an intentional act of reflecting the True Story so that readers will know the dragon succumbs to the Knight.

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