More Thoughts on the Supernatural
The most recent author to join the Realms family and a most-interesting fellow, Mike Duran, has written a very thought-provoking post on why supernatural fiction is so under-represented in the Christian marketplace. My suggestion: read his post and leave a comment with your own thoughts.
In his post Mike does an excellent job of making the argument that the Bible is full of supernatural accounts. No one has a problem with that. We read those stories and are awed by them, inspired, encouraged. We read them again and again and tell our children about them. But when it comes to fiction, the fare of choice is something much less gritty and much more “safe and sanitized.” So why is that?
Is it because the world we live in is scary enough and Christians feel they don’t need or want to be reminded of that in their fiction?
Is it because too many are afraid to face their fears and would rather ignore them or avoid them and find solace in some place predictable and safe?
Is it because many would rather ignore the supernatural and paranormal and leave it in the Bible where it is thousands of years removed than recognize that it does indeed exist?
Or am I totally off and it’s simply a matter of taste and preference? And the tastes and preferences of Christians really is that lopsided that sweet romance far outweighs stories that deal with the supernatural? (Hey, if I’m wrong correct me).
But if that’s the case, I wonder if those same people avoid the paranormal stories in the Bible, the stories that evoke fear and suspense. I know, I know, the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God and that gives it a slight advantage (or maybe more than slight), as it should (it better!) but no one who takes the Bible seriously doubts the possibility that that stuff could really happen. Of course it could . . . it did!
I hear sometimes that my stories are far-fetched, readers saying, “Yeah, right, that could never happen.” Really? Are you sure? If I wrote about a man with superhuman strength or fire raining down from heaven or locust-like beasts with scorpion tails would you write it off as far-fetched? When I write a story I deal in the realm of possibility, not probability. Is it possible? And when you read the Bible you quickly understand that when dealing with the supernatural or paranormal, just about anything is possible, whether it comes from the hand of God or the hand of the Evil One.
Here’s my last thought: Could it be that reading stories of the supernatural and paranormal will actually deepen your faith? I know it has for some, they tell me so. It deepens it because it challenges it, pushes it to the edge of reason and forces you to answer a question: Which do believe is more powerful, the forces of darkness at play in this world or the forces of light (the Light)?