Christian Myth-makers

One of the dangers I alluded to in my last post is that of becoming Christian myth-makers.

It seems common to hear preachers/song-writers/authors (in fact, communicators of every stripe) create fictional scenes that involve conversations and actions between the persons of the Trinity or between God and Bible characters. What’s the difference between this and the fictional exchanges between the Greek gods in The Iliad for example? Neither really happened, both are imagined by a human, and they both impose man’s perception of himself on deity. Are we, like the ancient Greeks, imposing our understanding of ourselves on our God?

Is there any difference? Aren’t preachers and teachers who do this being Christian Myth-makers? Is it acceptable to do this as long as such words and actions do not contradict Scripture? Is it acceptable as long as the form of communication makes it clear we are speculating? How far are we allowed to go with such “sanctified speculation?”

As you can tell it raises questions for me.  What do YOU think?

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5 thoughts on “Christian Myth-makers

  1. I don’t think that there is a problem with Christian writers writing fiction (for example). It shouldn’t contradict scripture, and it should always be made plain that it is indeed fiction. I also believe it is possible that certain Christian writers are compelled by the Spirit to write certain stories. That would be personal decision between a believer and God; as is the decision to read these fictionalized works. I try to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in choosing what to read or not read. The same would hold true for a preacher; are they lead to try to describe the actions of the Persons of the Trinity in a way that will potentially help the listeners to understand?

    There have been many accounts and testimonies from people who have turned to God because something they read in fiction made them reconsider Christianity and to turn to scripture for answers…

    I do think anyone adding their own spin on things must be very very careful, and prayerfully consider it…as CS Lewis once said (I’m paraphrasing), it is always good to return to the revealed way in scripture that God would have us view Him. This was in regards to Lewis trying to help his readers grasp the Trinity. So, he did both; used “modern” metaphor and logical concepts to talk about the relationship between the Persons, and returned to the Father-Son-Spirit language in the Bible.

    Grace and Peace,
    Kliska
    TheChristianScribbler.com

  2. I really don’t like personifying God.. apart from the godman Himself 🙂 I think that preachers do their congregants a disservice when the refer to the Holy Spirit as “it” or speak of God in ways that distort Him and make Him more of a “man upstairs” entity. A lot of “Christian” fiction may be a bit too much like “Touched by an Angel” or one of the many other TV shows that portray God in generic terms.

  3. Kliska,
    I would probably not have as much an issue with a fictional author doing so (within Scriptural framework obviously) as with a pastor or teacher. That is partly because of the message and the medium. The fictional nature of a novel is self-evident. A pastor has a much more stringent standard to adhere to and as such, must take care that we do not misrepresent, detract, or add to what the Scriptures say. That in itself makes it much more difficult to “fictionalize” deity without getting out of bounds.

    I especially appreciate your emphasis on prayer and the guidance of the Spirit.

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’ll visit again!

    KB,
    I have heard some egregious attempts to contextualize God. In Greek mythology it’s fiction. For a Christian teacher it can border on blasphemy.

  4. I do see what you are getting at, and I too think that a pastor or teacher with a congregation really needs to watch out; especially in today’s “church climate” where almost anything seems to be accepted on some level, by some people. It all has to point back to what we find in scripture.

    Grace and Peace,
    Kliska
    TheChristianScribbler.com

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