September 8, 2011
The world’s on fire, our economy is shot, we’ve got a lawless robot in the White House—and I’m writing novels?
Worse yet, fantasy novels.
This month my third such novel, The Thunder King, goes on sale. It’s part of a series, following Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar—so you really ought to read the first two before you read this one. Published by Storehouse Press, they can be ordered via www.amazon.com. You can find assorted information about them on my website, and read sample chapters if you click on “Books.”
As a purveyor of fantasy, I’m small potatoes compared to Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner, and the wildest whopper-master of them all, Al Gore. In fact, our political culture is saturated with fantasy, ranging from insanely wishful thinking—“We can spend our way out of this recession!”—to the pure poison dished out by public education, The New York Times, and the Global Warming/Climate Change mob.
But there are important differences. My fantasy narratives are clearly labeled as such, and beyond the price of a book, won’t cost you anything. Nor am I in the business of trying to scare you into giving up your liberties. I don’t even expect you to believe my stories, and I don’t come on national TV and demonize you for not believing them.
I don’t want to spoil them for you, so I can’t tell you all about them. Suffice it to say that the stories are set in a world similar to ours, created and ruled over by God: not an imaginary god but the real God who created our world, too, and who has revealed Himself to us in the Bible. These are most definitely not stories about a lot of pagan gods and goddesses, and teenagers with super-powers and magic.
Because this fantasy world is different from ours, it has followed its own strange arc of history. Its people have their own scriptures, which are different from ours. But the divine laws that govern our world govern this one, too. Within the boundaries of those laws, the characters in the books experience some pretty far-out adventures. They have to cope with strange beasts, wars, a corrupt religious establishment that employs its own assassins, prophets, revelations, barbarian invasions—all the stuff, in short, that makes life worth living. The books are written for young readers, twelve years old and up, but adults seem to like them every bit as much. At least, that’s what my reviewers say.
But the question remains: why write such things at all? Man, we’re heading into a presidential election—and we’ve got to get rid of this guy! Who has time for fantasy?
Well, what can I say? I have been called to write these books. I’m sorry if that sounds pretentious, but that is the long and short of it.
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” (I Corinthians 1:27) After the Gospel itself, what could be more foolish than a fantasy? “And God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” What could be weaker—and less threatening to the rulers of this godless age—than a fantasy about a couple of kids trying to climb a mountain in search of a sacred bell that no one’s ever seen?
We each must plant the seed he’s given, and this is mine. We water one another’s plantings. But what grows out of those plantings, how much of it is harvested, and to what use it is put—that’s all up to God. “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (I Cor. 3:6)
I may never know what use God makes of my books. It may be that one particular person reads them, fifty years from now, and just one particular image or sentence takes root in his mind, and twenty years later, inspires him to do some thing that changes the world for the better. Our God works subtly, in detail too fine to be comprehended by the human mind. If, for instance, R.J. Rushdoony had not written a certain letter to Cornelius Van Til when I was three or four years old, I never would have written these books. The connection between those two events is almost too tenuous to be perceived: and even then can only be perceived by hindsight, if at all. God’s plans are infinitely deeper than ours can ever be.
Oh, I’ll continue to write columns and articles on timely, serious subjects. I very much doubt I have the power to convert anyone from Darwinism to Christianity. At best I hope to provide Christians with verbal ammunition they can use in their own conversations with people who are sitting on the fence, or to find new words to articulate their own positions. This is worth doing.
But in fantasy I’ve found a roundabout way of getting at the truth. Truth, after all, is truth. It comes from God, who is the only source of it. If truth is behind our politics, we’re blessed. If not, then all our politics, conservative or liberal or somewhere in between, is only an exercise in power-seeking, and self-indulgence at the expense of others. Such politics can come to no good end, and can accomplish no good thing.
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Fantasy is but one of many lenses which we may use to see the truth. Like politics itself, or even religion, it can also be used to tell us lies.
I’ve done my level best to ensure that my fantasy novels labor in the service of the truth.
I hope some of you will read them, and agree.
The first book of Lee’s series, Bell Mountain, has recently become available in a Kindle format. Visit his blog, for information on all three books in the series. The blog has links to www.amazon.com and to The Chalcedon Store, and the books may be ordered from either source.
© 2011 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com