November 18, 2017 at 7:01 am #53792
Hi everybody! (First post in a new forum category. Feel like a pioneer :D)
So I’ve heard people talk on this site about writing that points to the truth of the gospel. What are some creative ways we could do this in our fiction writing, even if we don’t say/mention the gospel outright?
One thing I can think about at the moment is the idea of self-sacrifice.
What other ideas do you guys have?
An INFJ daydreamer relying on God's grace, making music, and loving stories. literatureforthelight.November 18, 2017 at 9:56 am #53795
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Ooh! Second post!
@gh24682468999 Expounding on your idea of self-sacrifice, maybe a character sacrifices his/herself, but it seems meaningless until near the climax when it completely reverses the odds. Don’t know if that made sense or not…it did in my head ;).November 18, 2017 at 10:46 am #53804
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@gh24682468999 Great question! I think there’s a ton of ways you can point to the truth of the Gospel without bringing it explicitly into your story. In my opinion, though, while creativity can help if you want to have a focus on just the Gospel, I think there’s also a valuable place for using fiction to show the truth of the Christian worldview in general. There’s a bunch of ways you can work with that, whether showing the transformative power of love, the true cost of sin, or our need for a redeemer.
Since I made a whole course on this topic, I have too many thoughts to put them all here, but here’s a couple articles you may find helpful on the subject:
There are a bunch of other articles on this subject in the ‘Theme’ and ‘Mission & Calling’ categories on the right side of the page, so I’d also recommend reading through those for what it may look like to practically do this in your writing.
Hope these help!
Writing fantasy stories w/superheroes. · josiahdegraaf.comNovember 19, 2017 at 6:40 am #53921
@waterlily Yes it does make sense — thanks 🙂 I get this feeling that I’ve seen that happen in a story… somewhere… but it slips my head at the moment.
@aratrea Mmm… yeah, I can see how that works. Thanks a bunch for the advice (and for the articles)!
An INFJ daydreamer relying on God's grace, making music, and loving stories. literatureforthelight.November 19, 2017 at 11:48 am #53924
Inkling for Christ
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I feel that an underlying Biblical theme is very important. For instance, The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson has such a beautiful ending it made me cry. The redeeming element of sacrificial love is truly beautiful, but I think also the aspect of love, friendship, unity under one banner, caring, any fruits of the Spirt. These are elements.
The Inklings (CS Lewis, Tolkien…ect) believed in combining pagan beauty with Christian truth. This was their goal, and if you dig into their works you can see these elements. Aslan, was the Jesus figure.
So in short, I do believe it is important to have these elements present in our work. Like @aratrea said we don’t have to outright talk Bible but let it be presentNovember 19, 2017 at 12:35 pm #53926
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@gh2468246899 , 🙂 great question
I usually write fantasy, and in my opinion that’s a genre that a writer can quite easily present truths about the world or the gospel.
Saving others and giving yourself up for someone or a greater cause is a good way to point to the truth, and there’s also other things
Writing stories about emptiness or desolation can point to what people really are if they don’t have Someone greater behind them
Creating characters or worlds who are redeemed out of destruction and corruption and make themselves better can point to the truth.
And you can also create a kind of symbolical religion in your stories that represents the gospel, although I find this hard to do in a way that doesn’t come off as forced (but of course C.S. Lewis did this really powerfully with Aslan and Christ)
Showing the beauty of the world or the destructive power of wrongdoing as themes in a story are also effective ways to present some of the truths of the world (if not directly the gospel)
@aratrea has a lot of good ideas on this. Wow I didn’t know he had all those articles:DNovember 20, 2017 at 6:28 am #54005
@inkling-for-christ Thanks for the advice! I should probably check out that book. I’m guessing the Inklings is the inspiration for your username right? — really cool.
@sam-kowal Thanks for sharing! Could you clarify, though, what you mean about fantasy being a good genre for sharing the truth?
Personally I feel that as fantasy is usually written in a medieval culture, there’s that element of chivalry, morality, and nobility, which helps in the overall communication of the theme of right and wrong being definite, like LOTR. But you might have a different way of viewing it.
An INFJ daydreamer relying on God's grace, making music, and loving stories. literatureforthelight.November 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm #54047
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@gh24682468999 The way I see it, in fantasy you can do basically ANYTHING with the story. Create new worlds, new societies, new creatures and new people. Alter the things that already exist. Make story structures that wouldn’t work in the real world, but fit together perfectly in a fantasy one (like LOTR)
So, because of that, you have a lot of freedom to work in gospel truthsNovember 21, 2017 at 9:28 am #54123
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@gh24682468999 Love this topic.
First of all, I’m a bit on the bolder side of this issue. While I don’t claim to write specifically for a Christian audience, I still think it’s totally possible to share the gospel in your story in an artistic way that, if it offends people, will only do so because of the message, not because of the forum it is presented in. Ben-Hur did a pretty good job of this. Crime And Punishment (though I feel uneasy about the technicalities of its gospel message) did it brilliantly. There are others too. I even think my novel Edwin Brook did this pretty well. But doing this is admittedly a very delicate matter. I’ll answer your real question. How do we point to the gospel indirectly?
I’d agree with what’s been said so far. I especially think it can be effective to write about man’s need for redemption. This is, in essence, clearing the ground for seed to be scattered later. Allegory/symbolism is also an effective tool. Yikes! I don’t really have anything to add. I guess it’s a very simple matter, but very difficult at the same time.November 24, 2017 at 5:40 am #54326
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