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Friday, August 27, 2010

Are Karen Hancock's Guardian-King novels Christian novels?

A long time ago, in a fit of self-importance, I proposed to assess whether a novel was Christian or not. I proposed six criteria for that assessment. These are:

1) A Christ-figure.
2) Belief in important Christian doctrine.
3) Praying to a monotheistic divine being.
4) Expressing a relationship with God.
5) Consciousness of supernatural guidance.
6) Explicit rejection of personified evil.

I now apply this flawed instrument to the first three novels in Karen Hancock's series "Legends of the Guardian-King." See here and here for my posts on them, and for more details about these novels. It would be surprising if they didn't pass the test, as all three of them won the Christy award.

1) There is a Christ-figure, in fact two, one major, one not so major. Tersius, a supernatural being, son of Eidon, who stands in for God the Father, is explicitly said to have died to pay the penalty of sin, and, since he occasionally appears in the books, was also resurrected. The less important Christ-figure gave her life knowingly to protect Abramm from harm, in the first book. She was not resurrected, nor did her death pay a penalty for sin, but in a sense, she also was a Christ-figure. This woman is the woman that Abramm had a sexual encounter with, as mentioned in my post on the first book.
2) I have already indicated belief in an important Christian doctrine, namely that sin must be paid for, and that a perfect sacrifice is needed to pay for it. There are others, less explicit. The Writings don't occur much, but they have parallels with at least parts of the Bible.
3) Characters do pray to Eidon.
4) Abramm, the main character, realizes, when he puts on the object that signifies that he has become a Terstan, that there is a real, good, God. He feels this.
5) There are a number of occasions when Abramm asks for, and receives, supernatural guidance, or simply puts things in Eidon's hands. Other characters also do this.
6) There is rejection of personified evil. The evil beings are supernatural, and there is also an apostate religion, controlled by these beings.

As I say, it is not a surprise that these novels meet my test -- they are Christian. But it's my blog, and I wanted to go through the exercise. Thanks for reading.

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