Is Christian Speculative Fiction Weird?


Some writers who specialize in fantasy or science fiction or supernatural suspense or horror love to say that what they write is weird. It’s the stuff that doesn’t fit into another category. It’s dystopian or apocalyptic or cyberpunk or steampunk or … you name it. Weird stuff.

Or is it?

Speculative fiction, above all else, acknowledges the existence of a dimension of life beyond what we can see or measure or test with the scientific method. It acknowledges the Other.

For the Christian, it is a clear invitation to write about what we know to be true from Scripture. God exists as an infinite, imperishable, transcendent Person–three in one. How much Other can there be! Further He created spirit beings that exist beyond the realm of our physical senses, some of whom attempted a coup and continue to this day to work their own purposes in opposition to God’s.

Speculative stories, in one form or another, show some aspect of this actual world about which we know little. In other words, a story that shows the unseen, either symbolically or through imaginative interpretation, is closer to truth than any story that ignores God and the rest of the spirit world.

Is it weird to tell the truth? Then speculative fiction is weird.

If it’s normal and expected and good to tell the truth, then speculative fiction is actually in the wheelhouse of ordinary.

If we Christians really believe what we say we believe, we’d realize that this world is not humming along because it’s made up of matter and energy that behave according to a chance set of laws.

We believe, for example, that the Spirit of God lives inside a person who has put his trust in Jesus as the Redeemer. We believe we need what He has to offer because sin somehow infuses our nature and corrupts it, even as it is corrupting the entire universe. We believe that a Man who died more than 2000 years ago is alive. What’s more, we believe He is planning a triumphal entry back into this world.

Fantastic stuff. Yet we don’t think how amazing, even preposterous such things sound to the person unfamiliar with the tenets of Christianity. To us these things are normal, factual, established.

Why, then, would we think stories that bring to light this unseen spirit world or the foundational truths underpinning it, are weird?

In truth, I’ve only heard speculative writers call speculative stories weird. I’ve talked with people who say they don’t usually read science fiction or fantasy or horror. I’ve even talked with some who say they don’t like such stories. But I’ve never had someone tell me they’ve formed their opinion because the speculative stories are weird.

Throughout history, Man has recognized the spirit world, sometimes worshiping God but often worshiping a false spirit setting itself up as god. The point is, only in these most recent days have we tried to explain away the spirit world, as if we’ve become smarter and now know better than what every human before us knew.

That, I submit, is not normal. That is weird–to have so much pride as to believe that in the vastness of the universe we have uncovered, we have assurance based on our own finite abilities that nothing exists beyond what we can see, study, test. That kind of hubris is weird, not the speculation about what might exist beyond our everyday.

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