CSFF Blog Tour – The Enclave, Day 2

csffbuttonHave I mentioned recently how much I love CSFF blog tours? We really do have a wonderful group of bloggers writing about some of the newest and best Christian speculative literature. This month the tour is featuring The Enclave by Karen Hancock, and we’ve already had a good number of articles. (For a list, with links to specific articles, see CSFF Blog Tour–The Enclave by Karen Hancock.)

If you’d like to read an excellent summary/set up so you know what the book is about without having the ending spoiled, I suggest going to Valerie Comer’s first tour post. For a wonderful interview with Karen, visit Jason Joyner’s blog. By the way, Jason is one of perhaps a dozen participants (along with Rachel Starr Thomson, new CSFF member Dona Watson, Julie, Katie Hart and others) who are giving away a copy of The Enclave. Also, don’t miss Karen’s blog in which she is answering questions put to her by her publisher in preparation for the book release.

I’ve been thinking a lot about The Enclave these last few days, as you would expect. Of course I’ll write a review—that’s sort of a given—but what else? There’s so much here. The book touches on the issue of cloning, but with equal power, the issue of religious cults and idolizing a leader.

But this morning I was listening to an Alistair Begg sermon in which he said something I’d never heard before. Faith, rather than serving as a crutch, often puts a believer into hard circumstances a non-believer will never experience.

And that, I realized, was a critical element in The Enclave. You see, this novel is quite different from Karen’s others. Rather than having an other world setting, the story takes place here. Consequently, characters aren’t introduced to God allegorically or metaphorically, but they are or are not believers in Jesus Christ.

Since this is science fiction, the story takes place primarily in a scientific research center, where most of the scientists scoff at faith, even as they try to play god by manipulating the human genome.

The protagonists, however, are both Christians—one a committed believer, one drifting. Both have their faith tested. Both must make decisions about what they will or won’t do, and their faith, rather than simplifying their choices, muddies the water.

They can go with the majority, renounce their beliefs, equivocate, even lie, and gain status, honor, advancement. Or they can hold to their faith and be discredited, mocked, black-balled.

How like the real world. Some of the pressure the characters faced was “friendly fire.” They were charmed, flattered, and promised the things they longed for, by people of prominence.

Their faith? Far from being a crutch, it was in the way. If God is who He says He is, a clash with the way the world works is inevitable. And The Enclave didn’t shy away from showing this clash in a memorable way.

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