You’ve just time-traveled. At the approximate rate of 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, you’ve crossed into a new year. As per usual, to start our 2023 season of Lorehaven’s Fantastical Truth, we’ll review the top ten articles, news, and pages at Lorehaven.com last year.
- Enclave Publishing: Silver Bounty by Victoria McCombs
- The Gift of Dragons by Rachel A. Greco
- Infernal Fall by Bryan Timothy Mitchell
- Any candy from your stocking? We make cinnamon rolls and good stuff.
- Some of these topics deal with sensitive subject matter. Rightfully so.
- And because we’ve got ten of them, we’ll try to go more quickly.
Lorehaven’s 2022 top ten: 10–8
10. 126. How Can We Respond With Grace and Truth to Christian Cringe? | with Kevin McCreary, Aug. 23, 2022
Maybe you’ve heard about that one church that just did a “Christian” version of the musical “Hamilton,” and of course got criticized by the creators and savaged by secular media. Or maybe last Easter you heard about the other church that did a “Christian” version of “Avengers,” just as they’ve adapted (or parodied?) other fantasy franchises. Christian cringe. Most of us have grown up seeing the controversial “art” our brothers and sisters keep making for the sake of evangelism or entertainment. How can we be truthful about these controversial cringe attempts, while also being gracious in Christ and faithful to his beloved saints? Today we’re joined by a surprise guest who has seen a lot of Christian cringe.
The Lorehaven Guild serves a community of heroes who gather to celebrate Christian-made fantastical fiction with delight and discernment. These stories include (but are not limited to) fantasy, science fiction, and beyond.
Heroes of the Guild will explore their favorite creative works in these genres. We will focus on Christian-made stories, yet occasionally include general market books.
Guild heroes can join monthly Main Quest parties that travel into the fantastical worlds of new books. We will explore these stories’ beauty, goodness, and truth (and opposites!), applying their meanings to the real world of our ultimate Author.
Heroes can also join occasional Side Quest parties that travel into other books, such as older Christian-made stories or general market novels.
How to join the Lorehaven Guild
Subscribe free to Lorehaven! We’ll send you the exclusive invitation link.
Then, use the Discord app or your browser to enter the Lorehaven Guild. Once inside the Guild, you can browse the Lorehaven Sacred Scrolls faith statement (this one only applies to Lorehaven staff creators). Then you’ll sign off on the Code of Honor (this one applies to all Guild members).
Once you finish, enter the Great Hall and pass into the Guild itself.
- Starting Monday, Jan. 9, we begin our next book quest: Prince Caspian
- We’ve also opened an expanded Studio and Media Room for heroes
8. ‘Fast and Furious’ Movies Prove That Fantasy Can Become Propaganda, W. S. Fulkerson, April 11
“We’re family,” the famous street-racer claims of his friends, but this idea actually subverts the biblical beauty of God-given adoption.
- This article proved very controversial, likely one of the most we’ve had.
- It led to creative team discussion about how we discern pop culture.
- We also shared a response from guest author H. L. Burke.
- Found Family Stories Can Reflect Christ’s Redemption in Reality and Fiction
Lorehaven’s 2022 top ten: 7–5
6. Amazon ‘Rings of Power’ Promos Threaten to Burn Middle-Earth in the Fires of Industry, Mike Duran, Feb. 28
The studio’s teaser trailer and fake “superfans” video appropriates J. R. R. Tolkien’s canon and the good will of fans. . . .
A good example of this disregard may be a YouTube video, uploaded by Amazon Prime Video UK, entitled “Lord Of The Rings Superfans Review The Rings Of Power Official Teaser Trailer.” The video consists of four twenty-somethings gushing over the trailer. What are they so excited about?
Well, one of the “superfans” squees that “Sauron is hot.” Another foresees that this series, unlike Peter Jackson’s trilogy, will pass the Bechdel Test by having two women speak to each other about something other than men.
Yet their predominant praise heaped upon the trailer was that the series is apparently making a push toward ethnic diversity. They reach this conclusion because the trailer features a black elf and a black dwarf, ethnicities never before featured in either the source material or the Jackson trilogy. This effort by the creators to represent more minority characters gave one panelist hope that as a “queer disabled” person, she may one day see people like herself represented in Middle-earth.
Apparently, Amazon’s new “superfans” see Tolkien’s epic mythology as simply a vehicle for diversity and inclusion. Its themes of courage and camaraderie, the temptation to power, and devotion to the Land are now subsumed by themes of gender and ethnic representation.
Last night, cultural conservative fans learned media company The Daily Wire could adapt Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged into a streaming series.
But for Christian fantastical fiction fans, the buried lede is actually this:
[Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy] Boreing also announced a slate of major projects in development, including: . . .
An exclusive option to develop and produce feature film and television series adaptations for all six books in Stephen R. Lawhead’s “THE PENDRAGON CYCLE”
While Atlas has shaped the worldview of millions of people around the globe, there’s a series of books that I read as a teenager that, more than any other, helped shape my worldview. It’s based on perhaps the most impactful myth in the Western tradition—the legend of King Arthur. And it’s called The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead. And today, I’m beyond thrilled to announce that the DailyWire+ has secured the rights to this unbelievable work.
This is an incredible story about the fall of the Roman occupation in Great Britain, and the rise of Christianity in the blood-soaked pagan islands—British Isles. It’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever set about to do. And it’s going to be incredible. And it’s going to premiere on DailyWire+ in 2023.
Stephen R. Lawhead’s The Pendragon Cycle series combines Arthurian legends with Atlantis myths and early Celtic lore into a six-part historical fantasy epic. Released between 1987 and 1999, the saga explores themes of love, friendship, and destiny.
Lorehaven’s 2022 top ten: 4–1
4. Sensual Scenes in Fiction Pose Unique Temptations for Women, Marian Jacobs, April 21
From Twilight to Divergent to our own Lorehaven library of Christian-made fantastical novels, you can find varying doses of sensuality. In fact, the combination of romance and fantastical elements is one of the largest draws for female readers to these genres. Instagram alone features new marketing strategies emphasizing the types of romance readers will encounter, rather than plot elements. (“Check out this enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn paranormal romance!”)
Is this morally neutral, or might this provoke lust in the majority of female readers?
- Here’s another controversial article, and for good reason.
- It’s about a frankly carnal form of imagination: in short, sexual fantasies.
- Marian recalls her previous viral video that inspired this topic.
I’ve been told I’m making law and succumbing to purity culture by giving warnings to readers, parents, and writers of the dangers of sexual content in fiction. But the strangest thing is that only Christians make the argument that women are not widely effected by this kind of content. In September 2021, I posted a reel on Instagram that stated, “Sexual/sensual content in young adult books is like giving teens soft core porn.” The reel went viral, gaining nearly 300k views. With this came an overwhelming number of comments from non-Christians stating things like, “It 100% is and it’s super healthy too.” And “Teens are going to be sexual regardless. Why are we vilifying sexual content?” And “God forbid women read erotica… Disgusting.”
The consensus was that I wasn’t being sex-positive, and that teens are sexual by nature and should be reading porn in order to learn about sexuality in a “safe” environment. And as much as some of these comments were vile, I was struck by how unafraid they were to admit the truth—that teens and women are sexual beings and enjoy reading erotica and sensuality. This is the very thing Christian women refuse to admit. But why are some Christians so unwilling to say this?
- It’s easy to think this is secular reasoning. Christians are vulnerable too.
- Even some professing Christian authors are embracing Sexualityism.
- Please pray for us as we consider how best to speak into these issues.
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What’s the chief end of Lorehaven?
Lorehaven helps Christian fans explore fantastical stories for Christ’s glory: fantasy, science fiction, and beyond. Articles, the library, reviews, podcasts, and the Lorehaven Guild community help fans discern and enjoy the best Christian-made fantastical stories, applying their meanings to the real world Jesus Christ calls us to serve.
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Explore our Sacred Scrolls faith statement. All Lorehaven staff creators and guest writers as well as Quest Guides in the Lorehaven Guild must agree with this faith statement.
(Christian authors whose novels we list or review may affirm comparable orthodox faith statement, though not necessarily our statement.)
Next on Fantastical Truth
For fantasy franchises, 2022 was a rough year. From Middle-earth madness, to not-so-secret Disney agendas, to yet another creative disaster threatening to destroy the DC multiverse, fans have gone through some grieving. What were the top threats to fantasy fandoms in 2022? And how should Christians view the grief process after corporations seem to destroy the best worlds?
Explore the best Christian-made fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond, and apply these stories' meanings in the real world Jesus calls us to serve.