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4. What Are the Top Recent Debates Among Christian Fantasy Fans?

We survey seven debates Christian fans followed in 2019, from female heroes, to fictional magic, to “cancel culture” versus young-adult novels.
Fantastical Truth on Feb 11, 2020 · 1 comment

We sort through the top ten 2019 articles on Speculative Faith. Then hosts Zack Russell and E. Stephen Burnett count down the top debates we expect to see continue this year.

  • SpecFaith has been operating since 2006.
  • Many Christian novelists have written there.
  • The daily blog is associated with Lorehaven.
  • It features daily articles from regular voices.

Seven of these top articles at SpecFaith focused on big current or ongoing debates.

7. Captain Marvel Left Me Baffled and Disappointed

  • Marian Jacobs: “We know Captain Marvel is a hero, but in the MCU, that’s not a personality trait. It’s a job.”
  • Zack really wanted to like this and to have his girls like it, but his thirteen-year-old daughter didn’t care much.
  • Ultimately, Captain Marvel turns to the “silent strong man” stereotype to save her.
  • Marian Jacobs explores how emotions are a good gift from God.
  • “When we marry logic and emotions we better understood who God is. He is both a meticulous planner as well as a passionate father.”

6. Should Christians Enjoy Fantasy?

  • Zack can relate to this question. At one a moment in his life, he had to get far away from the fantasy genre.
  • Pam Halter says she never doubted whether it was okay to enjoy fantasy.
  • But Zack’s case, due to some personal experiences, he definitely had those doubts.
  • He doesn’t feel that way now. But we do have room for different convictions about fantasy.
  • Pam Halter: “If you pick a novel and it doesn’t sit right with you, stop reading it … It’s really okay [to put it down].”

5. ‘Game Of Thrones’ Sex: It’s Not Just Awkward, It’s Violation

  • Disclaimer: we’ll be careful here, but this is a sensitive topic for younger readers.
  • Cap Stewart wrote this article in 2017, and now that the show has ended, it trended again
  • Cap Stewart: Game of Thrones is emblematic of a widespread moral epidemic. Sex is sacred, and yet we’re willing to put up with sexual sacrilege and manipulation of other human beings, so long as it provides us with a cathartic experience.”
  • Christians may disagree on whether such material tempts them, but ultimately what happens to the actors should concern us more.
  • Cap Stewart: “Taking into account how much sexual degradation actors go through for our amusement, I find it concerning that so many people—especially professing Christians—would not only excuse, but also defend such content.”

4. Six Christian White Magic Spells Worse Than Fantasy Magic

  • After watching a horror movie one time, Zack began to wonder: what if the point of the devil using fear against us is to get us to trust in the wrong things?
  • Certain cultures are based on fear/power beliefs, and give heightened attention given to evil spirits. They want protection from spirits, so they put their trust in amulets or rituals. But what if that is the whole point of the spiritual warfare against them?
  • So what if, in being so consumed with worry about black magic, we fall into the other ditch of trusting in white magic?
  • E. Stephen Burnett: “God never establishes a magic system. God never promised us that if we do X, we’ll achieve some reward—health or wealth, protection from evil influence, personal guidance, romance, or popularity in the world.”
  • “What if we reject His real promises and substitute our own? What if we blame other things as if they are the worst sources of occult magic—things like fantasy stories? Then we’re not being spiritual or biblical. We’re acting like practitioners of the occult.”

3. Analysis Of ‘Hell Is The Absence Of God’ By Ted Chiang, Part 1

  • This article frequently appears in SpecFaith’s “top searches” panel. It’s one of our first-ever articles, from 2006.
  • Ted Chiang wrote this novella based on the question: what if the biblical/miraculous occurred in everyday life?
  • It’s another example of how science fiction authors just keep returning to Judeo-Christian and religious themes.
  • Other examples: Star Trek episodes that, despite the classic humanism, just can’t avoid these ideas.
  • We expect to see sci-fi authors, including many non-Christians, continue exploring these themes in the future.

2. Standing Up to the YA Fantasy Impuritans

  • A “woke” mob on “YA Twitter” hounded author Amelie Wen Zhao until she canceled her book, at least for a while.
  • The cause? Mob members believed Zhao’s story’s depiction of slavery was inappropriately not exactly like race-based slavery in reality.
  • Zack Russell: I regularly interact with international students from China, and I try to make them feel welcome. The toxic community cancel culture did the opposite.
  • We’re getting to a weird place where people demand too much reality from fiction. They don’t want art, but propaganda.
  • Good news: Zhao still had her book published in November 2019. Bad news: she no longer interacts on Twitter.

1. ‘Sorry Your Dragon Show Ended Stupidly’ Meme May Insult ‘GOT’ Fans

  • This is our second Game of Thrones–related topic.
  • But this time we’re actually defending the show’s fans.
  • When the series ended, people began mocking fans of the “dragon show.”
  • The show, however, wasn’t questionable because of dragons but because of naked people.
  • E. Stephen Burnett: “… Honestly, the ‘dragon show’ part could sound like plain bullying. I see those non-fantasy ‘jocks’—possibly wearing ’90s faded-denim cutoff shorts and backward-turned baseball caps—harassing the ‘nerd’ with thick glasses and knee-high socks.”

What do you think?

What’s your favorite topic from this list? Let us know, using the form or comments section below.

We might do an episode on the topic with the most votes.

On our next episode

Next time on Fantastical Truth, we will explore a newly arrived fantasy show, The Witcher. Our guest Jason Morehead wrote this article, Giving Up On the Witcher, and helps guide Christian viewers in evaluating otherwise promising stories that get sidetracked by exploitation.

Fantastical Truth
Fantastical Truth

Lorehaven explores fantastical stories for God's glory: fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond.

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