Christianity Today Weighs In on Science Fiction

ct-lghomeThanks to an email group I’m a member of, I found an incredible article in Christianity Today entitled “Sci-Fi’s Brave New World”.

The essence of the article is that science fiction is a central component of pop culture and as such has played a much larger part in forming religious attitudes than most of us are aware. The following quote from the fine article written by James A. Herrick (Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs , InterVarsity Press, 2008 ) gives you the essential thrust:

But we must be clear: Arguments against Christianity and in support of rival worldviews now arrive daily as embedded components of visual and written fiction. Pop-culture fiction, not academic nonfiction, is now the cutting edge of public discourse on spirituality.

The thing I like best is Dr. Herrick’s call to action. What should be the church’s response? That’s a question I think that is overdue. Interestingly, the first point in his suggestions is a diligent exercise of discernment. Regular readers here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction know that I’m doing a standing ovation with that one. 😀

Next Dr. Herrick suggests we need to give an answer—form an apologetic, if I understand his point. And finally we need to

attend more diligently to the presentation of her true myth in public settings.

His closing line says that we need to adhere to the one and only true myth (a term he uses as C.S. Lewis did), that is God’s Story.

Good, good stuff. I encourage you to read the entire article.

But my question is, What place does fiction have in the response to this infusion of errant thinking into our society through pop culture?

As you would expect, I think it should play a big part. People love stories. Why, then, don’t we Christians tell stories infused with truth? Stories that pose the science fiction questions. Or fantasies that reveal who Good is.

Stories have been forming our culture for a long, long time. It’s not good enough for Christians to be reactionary and give a Christian version of Twilight or a Christian version of the Matrix or a Christian version of Heroes. We need to be visionary. We need to write the Next Great Thing, infused with truth. That’s the apologetic that everyday people will hear. That’s the greatest response we can give.

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