You love fantastic stories. Or you know a person who does.
But what are these stories good for?
Some Christians say these stories are “just entertainment.” Why overthink them?
Or we say these stories are for moral education or spiritual inspiration. After all, can’t we learn lessons better if they’re hidden inside an allegory or parable?
But if we dismiss stories as “just” anything, we belittle stories’ humanity and creative power. If we confuse stories’ purpose with the goal of nonfiction, we may miss the best ways to study facts, or learn truth about Jesus (especially in biblical preaching).
Stories need some greater reason to justify their existence.
We may find this reason in the same biblical truth that justifies our existence.
An old theological catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” That is: What is the highest purpose of human beings? Why did God create us in the first place?
This catechism replies, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
That’s why God made us, loves us, and redeems us: to glorify and enjoy him!
All his gifts, including his gift of story-making, help us serve that purpose.
Therefore, we can conclude: “Stories’ chief end is to help us glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Or, these stories’ purpose is to help us chase true joy in God.
In Lorehaven Magazine, you’ll find honest yet positive reviews of fantastic novels. In these you can find clear reflections of God’s truth, beauty, and goodness. That’s the simplest source of fantasy joy. But even when we discern a story’s idols or unbiblical ideas, we can also find joy because this helps us become more like Jesus.
We pray Lorehaven will help you find fantastical stories that help you fulfill Jesus’s joyful purpose in you.
Of course, some well-meaning Christian family members challenge the very idea of fantasy being good at all. They may suggest that if you want to follow God’s mission in the real world, you’ll see fantasy as a distraction. Of course, if we really make this our goal, we know that in the real world, people love fantasy!
We think fantastic stories somehow serve his purpose. But we struggle to say why.
But this response seems to ignore God’s call for us to see all the world as he sees it. This response may also belittle God’s gift of story-making. Stories are not “just” anything, any more than a person is “just” anyone. Stories powerfully affect us.