Read Science Fiction – Go To Hell!

Posted: July 15, 2010 in Books, Spirituality
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I received a Tweet the other day with a link to this article from a follower who calls into question anything I read that was written by people younger than A.W. Tozer. Okay, a bit of an exageration; but the fact remains he considers every moment I spend reading science-fiction or fantasy as a moment not spent reading the Bible and therefore – a sin.

I read the article and found the usual list of objections; SF is based on science not faith, SF authors are mostly athiests, SF promotes evolution and, my personal favorite, science fiction “presents a distorted view of reality.” Imagine that, a fictional work that doesn’t reflect reality? Go figure!

The article did however, get me thinking about the science fiction and fantasy I have read over the years. I sat down and started putting a list together and came up with nearly a thousand titles when the data stream ran dry. (I know there’s a bunch more, I just couldn’t recall them as I was making the list.)

The one thing I noticed as I ran through the titles is that a great many of them actually deal with the subject of God, religion and spiritually, and not always in the negative.  In fact, as I recall the ones that did try to oppose the notion of God actually had some of the best things to say on the subject; or at least, that’s the way I remember it.

And hence the motivation for this post, and likely a bunch more to follow.  Exactly how has the science fiction and fantasy I’ve read over the years helped to shape my Christian world view; if at all? Has it been good or bad?  Also, is there a running theme of spirituality in science fiction?  A quick Google on the subject would suggest yes, but I’ve decided to explore my own choices, along with the opinions of others.

List in hand I intend to reread a fair number of the titles that stand out most in my memory and examine what they do or do not have to say about God, religion, and spiritually, and try to discern if they had any role in shaping my world view.  I can’t remember the order I read them in so I’ve  decided to read them in the order in which they were written and then comment here.

Please keep in mind that these will not be reviews! I’m not trying to tell you if a particular book is a good or a bad one, or whether you should read it or not. (Though that might come up.) The goal will be to discuss each work from my own spiritual perspective and see what surfaces. It will be largely a self-examining exercise on which you are invited to eavesdrop.  Little or no effort will be made to avoid spoilers, giving away the ending, or revealing the secret twist in the plot if discussing it is germain to the conversation. I will try to remember to warn you if a spoiler is coming, but I make no promises, so don’t cry the blues if I forget. Like I said, these aren’t intended to be reviews, so please regard them as such.

Anyway… that’s what’s to follow – read or don’t read;  agree or disagree; comment at will. The first article in this series will be posted tomorrow. Till then…

Shalom.

Comments
  1. […] Posted by Dennis Gray on 2010/09/17 [Note: This post is part of a series on Science Fiction and Spirituality that had its genesis HERE.] […]

  2. […] of indications that Jules Verne was, in all likelihood, a man of faith; which brings us back to the subject of this series of posts. Consider for a moment these three passages from Les Voyages […]

  3. Rachel Tucker says:

    Admittedly, I haven’t read the article cited in your post yet…..I will. Has ANYONE noted that The Lord Of The Rings and The Chronicles Of Narnia are both SF works? (I know it can be argued that LOTR is an allegory but I have a copy of the book where the author denies that).

    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series!

    R.

  4. Look forward to it Dennis. I got the same objection recently about why I read so much non-Christian stuff. To be honest I read most of the good Christian Fiction. But I loom forward to your thoughts on Sci-fi in greater detail.

    Steven

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