This is the third and final day of the Christian Science-Fiction/Fantasy Blog tour concerning The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs.
I wanted to talk today about the way this author portrays the Christian walk in his fantasy world, the Hidden Lands (Karac Tor).
As I see it, Christian fantasy writers have two models to follow for this: Tolkien and Lewis.
Tolkien’s faith is evident in the way he sets up his world. There is a creator deity who cares about his world. However, this is rarely mentioned. There are prophecies and dreams through which the deity communicates to the characters. In particular, the deity works through the small and humble, rather than the powerful, to accomplish his aims. The world is dark, but there is clearly hope.
In contrast, Lewis’s Narnia tales have a deity so real you can see, touch and smell him. Aslan is such an effective portrayal of Jesus (our bridge to the Father) that he has been mentioned in plenty of sermons I have heard over the years.
In my own Christian walk, I find I communicate with the Lord in two ways: through prayer and through reading the Bible. The Bible makes it clear to us what God wants our Christian walk to look like: reliance on Him to lead and guide us, acknowledging our blindness and our inability to work on our own.
So how should a Christian fantasy writer inspire the reader on the Christian walk? That’s a question that fantasy authors answer in different ways.
Briggs uses the Tolkien model. A world is set up where prophecy calls for the final return of the Son Aion of the Father god. The characters are given dreams, intuition, and prophecy to follow at critical points in the narrative. So the deity is involved in the story, but yet remains somewhat remote to the reader.
Food for thought! The question becomes, how to cross that gap for the reader.
Rachel Starr Thomson found a You Tube video of Briggs discussing his favorite fantasy authors.
Want to know more about Dean Briggs?
Other CSFF tour bloggers:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Jason Isbell interviews the author
Miller on how much darkness is too much?
Alice M. Roelke
Rachel Starr Thomson