Sunday, September 15, 2013

Let there be Truth.

Chardenal Dictionary - Max Weber

I'm pro-reality.

In our day an age, that actually seems like an odd thing for the fiction writer to say. Isn't fiction supposed to be about escape? About fantasy? Isn't it a way to get away from the real world and do something else for a change?

The answer is, no it's not.

If the point of fiction were a lie, then the proper duty of a Christian would be to avoid fiction like the plague. Fiction would be a licentious pursuit, utterly devoid of meaning. Why? Because truth is important. Like, really really important. If fiction were about lying then we would be justified in abandoning it. God never asked us to lie for a living. If the point of fiction is to lie, then we're much better off without it.

However the fact is, that's not the point of fiction. To use an example let's go back to the definition of the word 'fantasy'. It's definition it our capability to imagine things. Not to escape reality." But wait Brendan!" You cry. "Doesn't imagination imply escape from reality?". Not at all.

The only reason imagination has such a bad rap in Christian circles is all the latent empiricism which managed to seep in in the 1920 to 1950s. Imagination is basically conceptualizing that which is not directly observable to the senses. If you don't believe in anything that doesn't come from the five senses, then that manes imagination must not be real in any meaningful sense. For some reason, Christians, even though we believe in the spiritual and non-physical realities have been influenced by this view, and that has contributed greatly to our intellectual poverty.

The thing is, fiction from the Christian prescriptive is simply another way to communicate reality. Instead of using a statement of straight facts, it uses the language of story to help communicate human experience at a depth that normal language can't handle. That's the real reason we write Christian fiction, not to escape reality but to show it for what it is.


  1. Interesting thoughts! You might want to proofread your posts a little more, though. "then that *manes* imagination must not be..." An important part of writing serious, deep, thought-provoking blog posts is correct spelling. Some people can't get around the misspellings and so the seriousness is lost on them.

  2. I'd love to proofread my blog posts more, however I have a limited time to do so. These blogposts are usually the product of 15 mins ow whirlwind writing.

    1. Mmm, yeah, college eating your time too huh? I can't turn out a blog post in 15 minutes. So I have to squeeze it in over several days. But then I only post once a week. :P