Science Fiction can glorify God if the writer can keep his facts straight. It’s a haven for uniformitarianism, the perfectibility of man, in short, secularism of all kinds. But since true Science is based in the Scriptures, true Science Fiction must be based in factual information and reasonable speculation based on what may happen.
Man is still compelled to work hard, suffer failures, setbacks and fears because of sin, and will not be able to become a god and fix everything. He will not evolve beyond the need for morality, self-control, personal sacrifice, or buying and selling what he needs to make a living and to live.
Science Fiction frequently gives man extraordinary power to do without money, having unlimited materials, knowledge and resources. Who pays the bills for all these Starship Enterprises, anyway? One time someone actually mentions “buying” someone a cup of coffee, and is quickly told that one cannot buy anything on the Enterprise. A visit to the past results in the query, “What does it mean, ‘exact change?'” Economics aren’t going to evolve away.
Neither is belief in and reliance upon the True God, because He is real and the Scriptures are true. The universe is not eternal. The world is not billions of years old. Those “vastly superior aliens” out there are angels and demons. They are real, but they are not from other planets. They live in obedience or disobedience to their Creator, God, just as men do, only they are powerful and capable of influencing man for good or evil.
Man cannot solve the problem of sin. Therefore he cannot cure all diseases, end all wars, or preserve primitive cultures in pristine “innocence” according to a “prime directive.” Technology can be used to advance culture but if it goes bad or evil and attacks us it is because sinful men created it, not because we live in a universe of random chance. Plan, purpose, order, and the Designer of all things must be foremost in the mind of the Science Fiction writer.
Many people lump fantasy and Science Fiction together. Sometimes we speak of Speculative Fiction, which can include both genres. C.S. Lewis, particularly in his adult Science Fiction books Out of the Silent Planet, That Hideous Strength, and Perilandra, talked about possibilities with planets untouched by the curse of man’s fall. He speculated on the mythologies of our ancient cultures even in the Chronicles of Narnia for younger readers. J.R.R. Tolkien did the same thing in his Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit.
Fantasy fiction in modern times usually glorifies magic and human strength and cunning. It often gives man a means to control his world. Though he may still struggle, stories like the Harry Potter series show a progression not unlike the mythology of evolution. Harry’s “ancestors,” his dead parents and the elderly wizards who instruct him, are not as evolved as he is. Fantasy borrows freely from the biblical concepts of a chosen one, a messiah, but gives no credit to the God who met the need of lost man by providing Jesus Christ as atonement for His sins. Rebirth is a common theme in fantasy, the warrior going through a deathlike experience and thereby growing in power and even fighting some form of ultimate evil. All of these things are stolen from the Scriptures without mentioning the true source of power, of rebirth, of the ability to defeat the enemy.
Man is the source of the power, says modern fantasy, or the earth or its personified elemental forces. Other movies have even gone back to the concept that the Greek and Roman gods are real and still give birth to demigod children with great powers to help the world. Mutants such as the X-Men skip the necessity to make or remake gods. They are just the next step in evolution, spewing pseudoscientific gibberish about how such nonsensical powers might be possible in a materialistic context. Many video games are based on this concept, that man can and will evolve into an all-powerful being who can right wrongs and save worlds without any spiritual force behind him.
Worlds peopled with elves, centaurs, dragons and dwarfs promise adventure along with the triumph of the human spirit without the true and living God. The message is the same. Man can overcome. He doesn’t need God.
But fantasy, not so long ago, centered on allegory, the adopting of a veil of mythical settings and creatures to teach Scriptural truth and explore man’s proper relationship with God. Tolkien did not claim to write a true allegory in The Lord of the Rings but hinted at elves who stood for angels, trying to help man but disgusted with his corruption, yet sometimes intermarrying with men. Wizards, goblins and orcs are spiritual beings trying to destroy man or in some cases cooperating with him, or pretending to do so. Magical powers frequently lead to an evil corruption. This is echoed in Star Wars. The temptation to the dark side is presented to Gandalf and to Luke Skywalker. Gandalf resists, and is even reborn in a sense to become a powerful spiritual helper. The person behind the “ultimate” power of good is vague in Tolkien, especially in the movies.
Tolkien was inspired by an earlier work, as was John Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress. That work was the Faerie Queene, an epic poem by Edmund Spenser, contemporary to Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh. Few people even know of it today. It centers on the English hero Saint George and his quest to slay the dragon. Spencer envisioned both a patriotic and spiritual meaning in his work, but especially he meant to glorify God. The fairy queen Gloriana represents God’s glory, the young man chosen for the quest wears the armor of Ephesians 6, magic is condemned as corrupting and wicked, and life is a series of victories and setbacks in the process of Christian growth. Spenser rose to a height few other fantasy writers have even attempted, but he is the standard to reach for in Christian fantasy.
Watch the YouTube (Channel ffvp5657) videos of the Faerie Queene commentary to better understand this timeless epic.
The Space Empire Saga is a collection of stories around a common theme. Here is the future of persecution. Here is the tale, beginning in “City on a Hill,” of ordinary family man John Winthrop and a group of believers literally driven out of this world by government persecution. Their only hope for freedom is to restore and make prosperous a sabotaged Lunar Mining Colony.
In “Sojourner,” the Space Empire expands throughout the Solar System, but its godly foundations have eroded into government corruption. Michelle and Mark, pioneers to the outer planets, fear their leaders will steal the possible fruits of their giant, gas-collecting “balloon ship.”
In “Humiliation,” internal rebellion and forbidden romance complicate the godly but hamstrung King of the Space Empire’s plans to control his son Michael. “Repentance” sees Michael conflicted over his duty to his father and to his empire in an encounter with a mysterious “fourth Empire” on Earth. His adopted brother and best friend Randoph struggles with understanding how to have godly character while planning, against everyone’s advice, marriage to Aidan, an Earth woman. The King still sees hope for peace but the old specter of persecution rises again in “Sanctification.”
“Bonus features” for this book include YouTube videos of the complete 3D novella Sojourner. Check out the ten-minute segments on YouTube Channel ffvp5657. We also have a gallery called “Stills from Sojourner and the Space Empire Saga” linked at the top of the blog.
Here is a link to a video with background on Findley Family Video and the Science Fiction books.
The Sojourner 3D video links, in five 10-minute segments, are as follows:
Here is a teaser for the Faerie Queene Teaching materials:
You may also wish to watch the Faerie Queene summary and teaching video by following the links below.
This is a link to our website, Findley Family Video Publications, with the Faerie Queene summary materials, more pictures like the one above, and even a game you can play if you wish. Let us know if you can put the pictures in the correct order!