CSFF Blog Tour – Venom And Song, Day 1

This week the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour is featuring Venom and Song by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper.

Unfortunately, I’ve been late on this one—late and hasty. So here are my errors. After telling co-author Christopher that I would correct the errant link to his blog, I forgot, so most of the tour participants are posting an old link (there’s no /blog after the .com).

I also sent out the notices to our members late in the week, so some didn’t notify me in time to have their links included on everyone’s list. Then there is our month-old member Sarah whose link I mangled last month … and failed to correct on the list I sent out. 😳

Confession, they say, is good for the soul, and I’m hoping it’s good for the CSFF blog tour so visitors interested in learning what bloggers are saying about Venom and Song can find what they’re looking for.

As per my usual pattern, I’ll be discussing aspects of the book or its content today and tomorrow, then give my review on Wednesday.

The most striking theme, to me, in this YA fantasy is unity in diversity.

This second installment in the Berinfell Prophecies features seven main characters. Seven. Seven different teens. One is a jock, another a musician. There’s a bully and a kid who never succeeded in anything. You get the drift. Each is unique.

Upon reaching their teen years, however, each develops an equally unique magical gift. But as they discover their place in the fantasy world to which they go, these seven teens learn they must work together to accomplish what they need to do.

It’s a wonderful point, one made clear through the plot elements. I couldn’t help but think a lot of adults need to read a book such as this to learn about working together rather than pulling apart.

God gave Christ’s followers very specific commands—love our neighbor, love our brother, love our enemy, to “malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”

Here’s the contrast:

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

– Titus 3:9-11

Somehow, no matter how clear the Bible is, this point doesn’t seem to get home. A handful of professing believers assume the mantel of purity police. I read a post today (not from anyone in CSFF, I assure you) who began by decrying the evils of Narnia and C. S. Lewis as a heretic.

Certainly, while I believe readers must be discerning, must think about and evaluate the books we read, there’s a point of foolishness and a way of speaking about others that becomes divisive.

May the Berinfell Prophecies teach young adults and adults alike that being different doesn’t have to mean being divisive.

See what others on the tour are saying about Venom and Song:

I’ve Been Banned!

* * *Rant alert * * *

It happened once before. Back in 2005 when the movie End of the Spear came out, a group of bloggers took it upon themselves to reprove the people behind the production. I don’t want to rehash those issues, but I took a stand, largely based on the fact that God has called Christians to unity and I didn’t think the the debate was promoting unity.

I voiced my opinion in a way that … apparently didn’t promote unity either because the owner of the blog I was commenting on banned me. 🙄

And now it’s happened again!

Sort of the same problem, too. This time the blogger was taking to task a well-known Bible teacher for sloppy exegesis of Scripture. I can agree that if this actually happened, it is appropriate to address the issue. However, this blogger went a step farther and said this person who is affiliated with a certain evangelical group he came out of is trafficking in the same false teaching he left.

Uh, that would be not true.

I’ve got some personal knowledge about this teacher’s body of work, though not about the latest title that this blogger’s source quoted. I undoubtedly voiced my opinion too harshly, and I’m sorry for that, but here’s my on-going concern.

A lot of bad stuff is flying under the banner of Christianity, but instead of taking a look at those believing in universal salvation or groups deconstructing Scripture or denying God’s sovereignty, we have this blogger telling others this godly, Bible-believing teacher espouses a false faith.

The thing is, I found this blog post because a blog I subscribe to had a follow-up article—an “ah-ha, I wondered if something was fishy with this teacher” article.

It’s heart-breaking that someone with an ax to grind can go after someone on the Internet and influence others to “go and believe likewise.” Hopefully my comment to the blog I subscribe to will at least cause that individual to investigate on his own.

But what about the others out there? Especially considering Mr. Ban-her cut off the discussion before you could legitimately call it that.

The odd thing is that I’ve come out so recently saying Christians should stand up and call false teaching, false. I suspect that one reason we remain silent is because of people like Mr. Ban-her who wants to call anything not aligning to his position “false faith.”

Another strange thing, I admitted in my comments (all three he let through) that I don’t always agree with said Bible teacher. And I don’t. But his position was, sloppy exegesis in the instance passed on to him meant this person was habitually incorrect in their handling of Scripture—and he was right, I was wrong, so I should SHUT UP! Well, he didn’t use those words, but he did type an entire sentence in all caps telling me how I really had nothing of value to say.

Sometimes getting banned from a site ain’t all bad. 😉

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm  Comments (9)  
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