Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Appreciation and Faith

Got a cool discussion brewing over at the Safe House message boards.  Anyone is welcome to come join in.... 

Here's a peak...

Elko: I know there are a lot of ways it works, but I'm interested in (conflict) where your appreciation for sci-fi and faith meet. What does one do for the other?

For one thing, I really like it when I find a sci-fi setting that can fit or mesh into our real life and history. I also like it when the 'magic' or parts of the story that require suspension of disbelief fit with the supernatural found in scripture. However you interpret scripture, be it literally or illustrative, you really need to apply your imagination to get any kind of meaning. Jesus essentially had super powers.

If you boil all of the detail away, most stories are echoes or reflections of the gospel. Good conquering evil.

The whole saga of the Holy Bible requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. Should we say suspension of disbelief = faith? You practice that a lot and you get good at it, I suppose. So, guess one could say that when you read sci-fi and fantasy literature and imagine it as possible you are training your mind to more readily accept the account of miracles in scripture.

I consider most role-playing games closely related to sci-fi and fantasy literature (and in some cases there is no difference at all). The method in which most of these games are [performed?] portrayed requires a great deal of imagination. Recently, our church took us through a study series that examined the use of imagination in prayer (this was called the Animate series. More info here). I was amazed at how easy this was for me having somewhat regularly practiced this with my gaming hobby. Some of the methods of prayer in the series were EXACTLY the same as were used in gaming. Using the same proverbial muscles, if you will.

I'd say sci-fi and fantasy flex one's imagination. It seems to me one's imagination is quite useful, if not required when reading and really meaningfully comprehending many aspects of the Bible. The Bible, after all, looks a lot like sci-fi or fantasy.

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