The Doctrinal Issue of Supernatural Fiction
Okay, here’s the question: Does Christian supernatural fiction need to be doctrinally sound? Or maybe a better question would be can it be doctrinally sound?
Now, I know there are many flavors of Christians who read my work–Brethren, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Fundamentalists, Baptists, Charismatics, to name a few–and each one has a slightly different twist on Christian doctrine. I’m not here to fight over the gifts of the spirit or pre-trib vs. post-trib. We can leave that for another day.
I want to talk about the doctrine of the supernatural and how it plays into the realm of the natural. One of the things Christian supernatural fiction is taken to task over is that it is not doctrinally sound, that it is unrealistic and contradicts what the Bible teaches. Really? Does it? I guess, like anything else, it depends.
Let’s get one thing clear, just because we don’t understand something or don’t experience it on a regular basis doesn’t make it contradictory to what the Bible teaches.
Humor me for a moment while I tackle an issue I’ve dealt with in my own books. In The Hunted there is a beast, a monster if you will, that is the manifestation of evil. Call it a demon if you like. Then, in Darlington Woods, there are the darklings, demon-like creatures with a thirst for blood and death. They’ve both been called unrealistic and I’ve had to defend them by reminding people it’s fiction, it’s not meant to be real. But are they really that unrealistic?
Here’s my line of thought. Can fallen angels take on the form of humans like the good angels can? Genesis 6 seems to hint at that when it mentions the “sons of God” (if you take that interpretation). Can Satan and his minions take on other forms? Well, in Genesis 1 Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent so it sure seems like it’s possible. So what’s to prevent them from taking on the form of a lion-like monster or a darkling?
Other questions: Can Satan control people? Sure he can. Judas Iscariot is a sad example. Can Satan control the weather? Yes. Job can attest to that. Can people receive visions and messages in their dreams? The Bible is full of such examples. Can God work through people in the form of miracles and supernatural power? Again, examples in Scripture are abundant.
Now, I know there are arguments on both sides about miracles and visions and such today and I respect the views of both sides. But what I deal with in my books is possibility. Is it possible that a demon can take on the form of a darkling or some other monster? Is it possible for a comatose boy to transmit messages from God? Is it possible for a man to be so controlled by Satan it’s as if he’s one with the prince of darkness?
I believe the answer to each of these questions is yes, it is possible. And I doubt that exploring these topics, these possibilities in fiction is doctrinally unsound. Trust me, the last thing I want to write is anything that could be called heresy or blasphemy. If I ever challenge the deity of Christ or the way of salvation in my books please, please call me on it. If I ever exalt man above God, take me to task. If I ever portray God as anything but the Father of Light and source of all goodness, give me a tongue-lashing. And if I ever fail to point my stories to God, to show the power of His words, the comfort of His touch, and the possibilities of His children, take my computer away and never let me write another book.
We’ve talked about this before, that the Bible is full of the supernatural, of miracles and wonderful strangeness, of evil in its cruelest and most vile forms. Can it still happen today? Is it possible? What do you think?
Posted on September 15, 2010, in Christian Fiction, Scripture, Writing Life and tagged Christian fiction, Christianity, Religion and Spirituality, Supernatural, Supernatural fiction. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.