Monday, August 03, 2009

Including God in Fiction

A family member pointed me to this blog post discussing whether and how to properly include God in a fiction story.

I've written two fantasy novels that have a Christian-like messiah-figure. (Neither is yet published.) The problem I faced was describing a realistic relationship with God.

If God is too active in the story then it spoils suspense. The reader would never worry about protagonists who were simply following after God, observing what he was doing.

If God is not active enough, the story ceases to teach anything about what a relationship with God is really like. A deity that sends people on an errand and then never helps, or whose help appears random even in retrospect, is not the God I know.

For example, the lion in A Horse and His Boy portrays one aspect of realistic, ongoing relationship with God: now and then God speaks clearly and teaches us.

In contrast, the the bird that rescues the protagonists in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is merely a tribute to God. He can save us from trouble and remove our fears.

In my novels I strove for something yet more challenging: what it is like to be on an adventure with God. Other people will have to say if I succeeded.

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