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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Speculative Faith: Recent Posts

Speculative Faith is one of my favorite blogs. Why? Because it considers fantastic literature, or at least some of it, from many angles. (One reason for that is because there are a number of authors.) The blog considers broad issues, and some specific books.

Something about the specific books, first. In the previous paragraph, I said "some of it." There's a reason for that. The books and authors that Speculative Faith considers, are, almost entirely, fantastic literature written for a limited audience. That audience is the people who purchase books marketed through the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association). Such readers are mostly female, and such books are mostly romances, often rather formulaic. A number of publishers produce fiction, fantastic and otherwise, for this audience. I call such works "faith fiction," a term which did not originate with me. I am not mocking such fiction. It has its place, and is, I believe a ministry, at least to some readers. But a book written for this audience has never won a major fantastic fiction award. This is partly because those who give such awards are unlikely to read faith fiction -- it isn't as widely marketed as other fantastic literature. It may be because of some bias against faith fiction. But, I believe, it is mostly because faith fiction doesn't have the quality of writing that a few mainstream authors have produced. (Lest there be any doubt, mainstream publishers put out plenty of material, in fantastic literature and other genres, that isn't worth much, and much such material makes no attempt to honor God.)

In spite of my ignorance of faith fiction (I've read a little of it) I like the Speculative Faith blog, because it considers broad issues. Let me give three examples of why I do.

On March 16th, Rachel Starr Thomson wrote about the character of God, as we portray Him in our art, and in worship. She claimed that much church music, and much faith fiction, takes a romantic view of God. Then she wrote:
A romantic view of God can tell us true things. God is, in fact, a lover. He does bestow worth upon us, He gratifies our holiest desires, He woos us into relationship with Him–though we do nothing to deserve it. And no man has ever made my insides quiver like God has!
But that’s not all He is.

Indeed.

On March 17th, E. Steven Burnett wrote about the question "Is it OK for Christians to parody other Christians?" My first response was "yes," and Burnett's seems to be the same, but the commenters aren't so sure, and give some thought-provoking reasons for their answers.

Thirdly, Rebecca LuElla Miller wonders if all entertainment is a waste of time. The second part of that discussion is here, the third is here, and the fourth is here. I hadn't thought about that question. I had just taken it for granted that entertainment is a good thing. I should have thought about it. Miller does a great job with this topic. It's a major issue.

Thanks for reading.

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