The Author

I love the fact that the writer of Hebrews refers to Jesus as the author. Not “an author,” mind you, but the author, specifically the author of our salvation and the author and perfecter of our faith:

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (2:10)

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (12:2)

Interestingly the word has the connotation of one who takes the lead, who serves as a pioneer. That idea seems appropriate to me for writers. Rather than serving as reporters of the human condition, an author is one who leads the way to truth.

I realize there are varying philosophies about writing, but this use of “author” in the Bible gladdens my heart.

Darkness is in the world and certainly darkness is an appropriate, even necessary, part of stories. But it doesn’t have to be the central element. I know I don’t want it to be the central element in my stories.

As I think about the best of Christian fantasy, I ask, where was darkness? Where was darkness in Lord of the Rings, in Narnia?

In the first, I’d say it was ever lurking on the fringe, even stalking the good and noble and true. As the story progressed and the main character traveled further, darkness grew, but so did the resolve of those opposing it.

In the latter, darkness took a more insidious form — that of deception and betrayal. As such it still wasn’t quite front and center for most of the story. It was always present in the mind of the reader, and ultimately solving the problem of evil drove the story to its final conclusion. But the stories weren’t about darkness, though perhaps The Last Battle came close.

My point is, in these great fantasies, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis led the way to truth without darkness being the predominant element. In each story they painted the picture of a world in need and yet the greatest part was the process of overcoming the dark.

In this day of dark stories, of vampires and werewolves and zombies, I find the idea of leading the way through the dark to truth a refreshing alternative.

Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm  Comments (5)  
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