Mike Duran debunks what is falsely called discernment in a post yesterday on his blog:
[…] In a recent review of Jim Rubart’s Soul’s Gate1, one TCM reviewer slipped into Theology Police mode[. …] Rubart’s book received a Below Average rating, not because it was poorly written or boring, but because it contained the word “magic.”
[… Later,] Commenter Amanda wrote:
“It’s scary sometimes how authors can slip dangerous doctrine into fiction books!”
Despite condemning “theology police,” Duran makes plainly theological arguments against such wrongful “policing”:
This book reviewer and the ensuing comments seem more indicative of a lack of discernment than anything. […] In their attempt to be “discerning,” many Christian fiction reviewers are straining at gnats and swallowing camels.
That’s a bit different, and far more Biblical, than merely condemning “theology police.” Such condemnations could lead readers to conclude that “theology policing” at all doesn’t matter — even while the same critics debunk and use theological (Biblical or otherwise) arguments against the imposter police.
… Which again proves: Christian fiction needs an infusion of more, not less, Biblical theology.
- Like Duran, I’ve not read this novel. For myself, I can say that at least based on Rubart’s contemporary/speculative novel Book of Days, using the word “magic” would bring the fewest of my doctrinal (and writing style) challenges. ↩
- Among other things, this reviewer fell for the classic blunder of equating a word, “magic,” with any meaning of that word, including the actual occult-practice sins that Scripture condemns. But if the word “magic” is evil, then so is its root word — meaning the Magi (Matt. 2) are in trouble. ↩
- Related reading: Ten Wrong Ways to Discern A Story. ↩