April 17, 2012

Supernatural Christian Fiction - Is it Okay?

Let me start off by saying that ever since the beginning of the paranormal/supernatural fiction craze, I've been afraid that this would happen.
For some reason, Christian writers and publishers feel like we just can't let the secular publishers corner the market on paranormal/supernatural fiction. We just have to get in and get a cut of the action. So we've started seeing paranormal/supernatural titles start to drift into the Christian book market.
Now, though, the trend is even spilling over into children's fiction. This week I read a new release from Thomas Nelson Publishers, by new author Jerel Law, titled: Spirit Fighter. You can read my full review of the book by Clicking Here.
Suffice it to say I was not impressed. In fact, I was disturbed and even angered by what I read. And my review only covered a few of the issues I had with it. I could have gone on for much longer.
The thing that worries me most about this new trend in fiction is that Christians are starting to become casual and comfortable, even flippant, with the idea of spiritual warfare, and the topic is beginning to lose the sense of gravity that should accompany it.
I remember a time when spiritual warfare, angels, and demons were spoken of soberly, with seriousness and gravity - if they were spoken of at all. Very few people actually talked about such things, and those who did didn't do so often or casually.
Now, though, it's become a trendy, exciting topic that people talk about over a cup of coffee, along with the latest vampire novels. Every author puts their own twist on it; every reader has their own favorite fallen angel or half-angel character.
Now, in books like Spirit Fighter, even children's fiction has started featuring fallen angels, nephilim, guardian angels, and face-to-face battles with demons.
I'll be honest: I'm worried about the direction this trend will take people. Spiritual warfare is something we should not shove under the rug and pretend isn't there, but it isn't something we should be casual and flippant about, either. It is a very grave, serious thing, and we should not be allowing trendy fiction to make it into something we feel comfortable with. Feeling comfortable leads to dropping our guard. Dropping our guard leads to vulnerability and weakness.
Spiritual warfare is not an area where we can afford to be vulnerable and weak, my friends.

What are your thoughts on the supernatural trend coming to Christian fiction?

14 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more. What's the deal with all this goofy 'half-angel' and 'teen angel' stuff anyways? Angels are either wonderfully holy or purely evil beings, and neither is a thing to feel comfortable with. One angel destroyed hundreds of thousands of Assyrians in a single night.
    And no, angels don't grow up and have 'struggles that every teen and young adult have'.
    So, anyways, your thoughts were spot on.

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    1. Thanks. So glad to know I'm not the only one who feels that way!

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    1. About the concept, I mean, not your article.

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  3. I think that it kind of makes it into fantasy- like they don't really exist. It's okay to have your own take on dragons, it's not okay to have your own take on demons. But I think it's different if it's something *like* angels or demons instead, that's not supposed to actually be the same thing, just evoke the same idea. :)

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    1. Agreed. In my own WIP (work in progress) I have creatures whose function and purpose are somewhere between that of angels and prophets - they are essentially God's messengers. But they are their own distinct, *fictional* thing - I don't base them on real biblical angels and try to make it work that way.
      Thanks for stopping by, Lilliterra! : )

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    2. That is what I do as well if I write them into my stories. I make them fictional not supposedly real.

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  4. Have you read the new book "Halflings?" I can't remember the author, but everything about it screams "CHRISTIAN TWILIGHT WITH HUTT HALF-ANGELS!"

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    1. I haven't read it - come to think of it, I hadn't even heard of it before you mentioned it.

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  5. As someone who is writing, and hoping to publish, a novel that revolves around a main character who is a Nephilim, I respectfully disagree that the topic is taboo. And while I did not enjoy reading Spirit Fighter (the review is on my blog), the reasons were mostly due to the agenda with which the author wrote. I agree that the real spiritual warfare that is going on around us can be a scary thing, but should that stop the conversation about it? In my novel, I do nothing to glorify the characters of fallen angels or to humanize the characters of angels, but I do hope to start a dialogue about the reasons why God would allow things like free will for humans but not angels, why God needed to purge his creation with a flood, and other topics. I'm also hoping that my novel will have a wider appeal than the Christian market, as there are few things so offensive as saying that a book is the "Christian version" of another book.

    Oh a sidenote, my book with the Nephilim character features steampunk as a sub-plot.

    You have a nice blog, and I look forward to reading more.

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    1. Thanks, Josh, both for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts.

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  6. I agree with most of your points. Any half-nephilim or romance with angels is wrong and, as Lostariel said, "Ew". However, I think there is a place for fiction to stand against this. Our teens and children are immersed in a culture that's filled with vampires, demons, angels, etc. We cannot stand by and let their minds be filled with how the world views these beings (fantasy or not). I think motivated authors can show God's truth in how we should view and/or interact with the beings. I know Christian teens that are overwhelmed with desire to have a vampire boyfriend. Our novels can tell a fun exciting story that teens want to read while showing why the world's views of such creatures are wrong and evil. Like you said, "Spiritual warfare is something we should not shove under the rug and pretend isn't there, but it isn't something we should be casual and flippant about, either."

    I hope that made sense.

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    1. Don't worry, I understand what you're saying. : ) Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

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What are your thoughts on this post? I'd love to hear your comments, questions, or ideas, even if you don't agree with me. Please be aware that I reserve the right to delete comments that are uncivil or vulgar, however.