This episode releases on Valentine’s Day. But we’ve noticed that for a lot of fantastical fiction, and especially traditional Christian-made fiction, every day is Valentine’s Day. You get fantasy romance. Fairy tale romance. Fairy-tale retelling romance. YA superhero romance. And so much more. So, why all the romance? And will we spend a whole episode making fun? No way. It’s Valentine’s Day! Instead, let’s explore why Christian readers fall in love with fictional romance.
- Sky Turtle Press: The Fairie Queene fundraiser
- The Dragon Slayer Chronicles by Carey Green
- Realm Makers 2023 conference
1. Which romantic fiction have we read or seen?
2. Why do many Christian novels feature romance?
3. Will Christian fans move beyond romance genres?
Stephen’s article: Why Does Christian Romance Outsell Christian Fantasy?
- A reader’s ideal of Paradise influences his or her story preferences.
- If your ideal Paradise is love and family, you’ll likely prefer romance.
- If your ideal Paradise is a fantastical world, you’ll likely prefer fantasy.
One wouldn’t end here with anything like a condemnation of Christian romance or its fans. That would be sick legalism. Again, romance is God’s creation! It points back to the union of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2), and forward to the union of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5).
However, Christians believe romantic relationships will not always continue as they are now. Some believe this means a total abolition of even good human marriages, based on Jesus’s words in Matthew 22:23-33. Even if this isn’t what He meant, we can be confident that Jesus refers to some adjustment to human marriage, which may be fulfilled in eternity.
In either case, romantic relationships are a subset, not the sum total, of that future world.
Whereas the Bible’s literal and ideal image of paradise—a made-new world of wonder, of good conquering evil, and miracles—is closer to the themes explored in fantastical stories.
Why, then, don’t more Christians at least enjoy romance fiction and fantasy fiction equally?
Maybe it’s because most readers haven’t yet enjoyed this more biblical picture of paradise.
Andrew Trauger wrote in reply to Josiah’s article:
The #1 complaint I’ve heard about “The Chosen” regards the response of so many people who use it as an aid to worship. Clearly, idolizing a character depicted by Jonathan Roumie is every bit as sinful as idolizing St. Peter, the Virgin Mary, or a painting of Jesus on the chapel ceiling. Idolatry is idolatry, and people are as prone to break the 2nd Commandment today as ever–just with pixels instead of gold.
For this reason, a lot of Christians have taken the hard line, with a few subpoints and addendums to the Law. “Thou shalt not depict Christ in any way, shape, or fashion. Thou shalt not put words into His mouth that have not already been written, nor shalt thou presume Him as saying anything not recorded for you in Scripture. Thou shalt not imagine.” …
If someone watching “The Chosen” is a weak brother and supplants his daily Bible reading with binge watching, then that brother needs to throw his TV (and phone) in the garbage. He needs to pluck out his eye. This show is not a replacement for Scripture, as its director has stated multiple times. Viewing the show sinfully–that is, with an idolatrous heart–is sin. But Dallas Jenkins no more causes people to commit idolatry than Glock causes people to commit murder.
Lorehaven mission update
- Last week’s review of Jack Zulu and the Waylander’s Key
- This week’s Friday review, probably for a new release
- If you like romance, our Guild is exploring Rose Petals and Snowflakes
- We’re working on more timely articles to help with these missions
Next on Fantastical Truth
Aliens! Now that we have your attention—if it’s not that infamous and not-at-all-seasonally-colored balloon the People’s Republic of China sent America early for Valentine’s Day, it’s some kind of floating silver craft that was also just shot down, over Alaska this time, that might could just be more Armies of the Aliens. So we’re showing our love a different way, this time for urban legends about sci-fi and spaceships. These often seem creepily plausible, but cause a lot of questions for Christians. What can we learn from this war of the worldviews?
Explore the best Christian-made fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond, and apply these stories' meanings in the real world Jesus calls us to serve.