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aredshaw

Christian Science Fiction

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For me, it's all about writing a story to help people know Jesus better. I want to cover spiritual reality. I also do not like historical books because what has happened is of less interest to me than what is coming. That being said: I wrote my end times book, "The Righteous Perish" and there's really no place to go from there. So, I'm working on an epic fantasy in a fictional world. I'm mainly doing this because I have a hard time even speculating that the Lord will tarry beyond 2048 or maybe 2067. I'm finding a freedom of expression on my world that is lacking on tales of this one. But that's just me.

 

 

Bottomline: What is Jesus asking you to write? If it does not come from following His lead, it's probably a waste of time. Time is getting short, as far as we can tell. We are charged to make the most of the time.

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Thank you Davidbergsland for your thoughtful reply. I am doing just that, asking the Lord what he would have me to write. I have struggled with the issue of writing sci-fi/fantasy (even though I love it). Perhaps my current novel doesn't have a strong enough Christian message and I need to work on that. I am praying about it. Thanks again, and God bless!

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So far have written 2 sci-fi books with Christian themes. One is published. The second needs some rewriting before it is published. For some reason sci-fi has been easier to write than historical fiction. Maybe it's the amount of research required for HF?

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For me, it's all about writing a story to help people know Jesus better. I want to cover spiritual reality. I also do not like historical books because what has happened is of less interest to me than what is coming. That being said: I wrote my end times book, "The Righteous Perish" and there's really no place to go from there. So, I'm working on an epic fantasy in a fictional world. I'm mainly doing this because I have a hard time even speculating that the Lord will tarry beyond 2048 or maybe 2067. I'm finding a freedom of expression on my world that is lacking on tales of this one. But that's just me.

 

 

Bottomline: What is Jesus asking you to write? If it does not come from following His lead, it's probably a waste of time. Time is getting short, as far as we can tell. We are charged to make the most of the time.

 

I think this is something every writer must consider, Christian or not.

My particular conundrum of conscience is writing anything in our modern society. You have to lie. You have to lie, that is, if you want to appease to what is expected for a book suitable for Christian reading...no no that's not my problem...I'll be more honest: As a Christian I can not bring my self to pen the way real people really talk. And I used to talk like that! Do I fear man or God? Would God want me to write those words? The devil's words are in the bible. Is modern vulgarity worse than that? It's all about purpose and intent, of course.

 

 

I'll further admit that I haven't come to terms either way.

 

 

I've glanced through a few 'accepted' works. Successful works. Otherwise good works, I'll admit. But people don't talk like that. I feel like the author is lying.

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I totally agree...I write mainly science fiction, I do have a series that has a christian theme to it, but I mainly want to write good stories that are worth reading. I take my inspiration more from classic science fiction (from the 60's-80's).

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Even in my last published work, I speculated on our government outlawing Christianity. But that isn't that far fetched as our society moves closer towards an anti God position.

 

 

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Interesting. In my sci-fi novel, I set the backdrop in an age of unprecedented prosperity. Although not prominent in the story, there is no religious oppression. As a result, the Christian church almost evaporated. I honestly think that apathy is far worse for the church than an anti-God government. History shows that oppression often galvanizes and strengthens organizations - particularly religions. Want to destroy a religion? Don't oppress it.

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I intend to stay in or around the sci-fi area of Christian fiction. I LOOOOVE sci-fi! It is one of the few genres where you can make a social, political, etc. commentary without being overt and have fun all at the same time!

 

 

I am not published yet, but have many stories in mind. Waiting to get enough posts so I can post some story ideas and get some feedback. I'm glad I ran across your topic.

 

 

May your endeavors be blessed!

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If you have followed me this far, I just want to know, who else is writing Christian science fiction? I see a real need for good Christian science fiction writers.

 

 

Aaron Redshaw

 

 

aaronkredshaw.com

 

 

I am coming at this from a slightly different angle - fantasy - or perhaps more accurately, "lightly fantastical allegory". About 21 years ago, after I had finished one of my many readings of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I thought, wouldn't it be neat if I could write a story like that for my Goddaughter? (Lewis dedicated it to his Goddaughter Lucy Barfield). In thinking about it though, I also wondered what might come next after a character like Aslan. My answer was, of course, the Spirit. So Bethany's Tale was born. I wrote a good bit of it fairly quickly, but then life intervened and I put it down for almost 20 years. Last year something made me pick it up again (my prime suspect is that same Spirit) and I have finished it. It is with a beta reader now and I hope to get it edited and published within a month (or so). It is primarily targeted at children to young adults, but I hope it will appeal to a broader audience.

 

 

My goal was to write a good story that is fun to read, but still shows how someone who is in difficult situations can make right choices.

 

 

Hopefully I did a decent job (only time will tell) since I now have 5 more Goddaughters; hence Bethany's Tale is Book 1 of the Godchildren's tales. :)

 

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If you have followed me this far, I just want to know, who else is writing Christian science fiction? I see a real need for good Christian science fiction writers.

 

Science Fiction is my genre, too. I'm on the second novel so far. Since I'm a rookie, I don't have enough points yet to post in the critique section, but hopefully I can soon. Maybe I can post the "Christian" sections for your review.

 

 

This discussion has been interesting, and I have also struggled with how "Christian" to make my story. For me, it is a Christian Science Fiction story because the protagonist is a Christian and she sees the world through the eyes of faith. That means she knows a Creator made it all and is still deeply in love with that Creation. She also struggles with God in areas of prayer and silence.

 

 

Lydia, I don't share the belief that aliens are not possible in God's universe, so my story includes them, too, which might disqualify it in your eyes. In any event, the aliens also have believers and non-believers within their culture. It gives me the chance to reflect on human faith and disbelief through their eyes.

 

 

Since Paul posted in April, Marcher Lord Press has selected the new name of Enclave Publishing since Steve Laube purchased it. They are at Enclavepublishing.com

 

 

Glad to be here, and in a group with my same questions and aspirations. God bless us, every one!

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I personally don't believe aliens exist in God's Creation, however, that doesn't mean I don't write about them - they are a staple trope of Science Fiction that I just happen to believe are utterly unBiblical. (That doesn't mean I don't think they /couldn't/ exist, I just don't think they /do./)

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Hi Phy,

 

 

I run along those lines too. While I don't believe in aliens as part of God's creation, I do enjoy using them in the realm of fantasy.

 

 

Lydia

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What's great about sci-fi is that is can be wonderfully allegorical. The presense of aliens can easily be construed as a type of people, i.e. liberals or atheists or whomever. Or, since Christians are sometimes referred to as 'aliens' among the unbelievers, it would make for an interesting story for the protagonists to be the aliens on another world.

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Lydia, I don't share the belief that aliens are not possible in God's universe, so my story includes them, too, which might disqualify it in your eyes. In any event, the aliens also have believers and non-believers within their culture. It gives me the chance to reflect on human faith and disbelief through their eyes.

 

 

I personally don't believe aliens exist in God's Creation, however, that doesn't mean I don't write about them - they are a staple trope of Science Fiction that I just happen to believe are utterly unBiblical. (That doesn't mean I don't think they /couldn't/ exist, I just don't think they /do./)

 

Hmm...I read about lots of beings and creatures not from this planet in the bible. Of course, I'm just one of those silly fanatics that believes it from cover to cover...I even believe the cover.

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Hmm...I read about lots of beings and creatures not from this planet in the bible. Of course, I'm just one of those silly fanatics that believes it from cover to cover...I even believe the cover.

 

Aren't we all?

 

 

I'm always interested in learning new things - hit me. I'd like see these many passages.

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G. Lizard,

 

 

I've been called a fanatic myself, though I think many Christians are in these modern times.

 

 

I believe the bible from cover to cover as well, but in my readings, I've never noticed creatures and beings from other planets being mentioned. Perhaps I missed something. (Unless of course, hell, fallen angels and the spiritual realm are some of what you speak of.)

 

 

I don't recall ever hearing a sermon on it either, but you've peaked my curiosity. I'd like to know what scriptures show proof of alien life and life on other planets. I think I'll do a google search on it.

 

 

Lydia

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I believe the bible from cover to cover as well, but in my readings, I've never noticed creatures and beings from other planets being mentioned. Perhaps I missed something. (Unless of course, hell, fallen angels and the spiritual realm are some of what you speak of.)

 

 

...I'd like to know what scriptures show proof of alien life and life on other planets...

 

Hi Lydia/Phy...or anyone...the more the merrier...

There is a crux that would stop this kind of discussion from going further or being productive...a crux as big an obstacle as biblical authority is with a non-believer. When I say believe the bible...everyone does NOT believe it same way, despite profession. Many folks will believe if they can make it say what they want it to say...agreed?

 

 

SO how would you answer the following questions...

 

 

Are the heavens spiritual or physical? And yes, I mean all the way up to that place John described in Revelation.

 

 

Is the 'kingdom of heaven' a spiritual kingdom or a physical kingdom?

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Answering a question with a question - I'm already skeptical whether we're going to get a clear answer out of this tangent.

 

 

I think it doesn't matter what we think, it matters what you think and whether you can articulate that opinion.

 

 

As I see it, we have two questions in front of us:

 

  1. Do aliens exist for real? (Ken Ham isn't helping when he says that aliens will go to hell*. As Neil deGrasse Tyson put it, 'that's messed up.') * To be fair, Ham doesn't exactly say that - what he said was "because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation" and that was then taken to its logical conclusion.
     
  2. Does this affect our ability to write about aliens in Christian Science Fiction.
     

 

 

1. I've stated my opinion already - I don't believe aliens exists in any form: I don't believe scripture says they exist, I don't see any extra-Biblical evidence that says they exist.

 

 

I once heard Voddie Baucham say something to the effect that all of scripture is the story of Jesus Christ, everything from stem-to-stern points toward Christ. I've also heard it said that the Earth was created at just the right place in our galaxy so we can see the heavens laid out in front of us, further pointing toward Christ. I do agree with Ham when he said Earth was specially created. I think all of life exists for one reason - to make a choice to repent and glorify God or to rebel and be separated from God. I don't see the role for aliens in that process. (I know some believe it's possible that demons may masquerade as aliens in the end times, thus drawing the focus off of Christ and man's spiritual responsibility to God. I don't know that I believe that but it wouldn't surprise me either way.)

 

 

2. I have no issue including the existence of aliens in Christian Science Fiction just as I have no issue telling a Fantasy story that includes magic - they are classic tropes that writers can use to tell a fictional story that contains elements of truth. This is where I usually invoke Cordwainer Smith, the pseudonym of a brilliant scholar, military officer, and expert in psychological warfare, Paul Linebarger. He was also a Christian, although not an Evangelical. Of his work, he wrote:

 

In my stories I use exotic settings, but the settings are like the function of a Chinese stage. They are intended to lay bare the human mind, to throw torches over the underground lakes of the human soul, to show the chambers wherein the ageless dramas of self-respect, God, courage, sex, love, hope, envy, decency and power go on forever.

 

Of his writing style, Geoffrey Reiter wrote:

 

To explore these “ageless dramas,” Smith cultivated his signature narrative voice, a writing style that was unlike any of his science fiction contemporaries and still remains entirely distinctive. Derived as much from his beloved Chinese literature as from any English-language works, Smith’s tales are often narrated as though they were legends compiled by rather dubious scholars. They are far-future folklore told by farther-future folklorists. Yet these narrators still allow the poetry of legend to intrude on their narratives as well. Even in the rare occasions when he adopts the first-person perspective, Smith ensures that his narrators place themselves as iotas in a sweeping history that is far bigger than they are.

 

Smith's story The Game of Rat and Dragon is one of my personal favorites. Gary K. Wolfe notes the mythic structures in his Sci-Fi storytelling:

Specifically, there are three related themes in Smith that I think are central to much modern science fiction. First and most important is the antinomy of known and unknown and the means by which science fiction tends to validate the appropriation of the unknown and its assimilation into the known—the process of transforming Chaos into Cosmos, in Eliade's terms.6 Second is the theme of beast or monster in science fiction, and the ways in which this image in its various manifestations relates to man's unconscious mind, his animal nature, and his terrestrial origins. The third theme is that of technology, and the apparent paradox in much science fiction that the more man tries to deny his autochthonous origins through technology, the more he is reminded of them.

 

It seems we can't talk about Christian Science Fiction without invoking C. S. Lewis.

 

 

Within a given story any object, person, or place is neither more nor less, nor other, than what that story effectively shows it to be." If you go with that interpretation, you are saying, "OK, I understand that the author has created a fantasy world, and I am going to get my definitions from within the story.

 

And so it is with Science Fiction. Aliens in Science Fiction as just as imaginary to me as trolls and dragons in Fantasy and just as important - they serve as characters as part of a larger story about truth. So while I don't personally believe in the existence of aliens, I don't have any trouble writing about them in fiction because they are accepted tropes and serve as a common language as part of a larger story about human nature, God's creation, and man's responsibility before God in the final accounting.

Because my target audience are unbelievers ('normal people'), I prefer to write Science Fiction from a Christian worldview without calling it explicitly Christian Science Fiction. As an example, some years ago, I wrote a story for Tim Ambrose and Randy Streu that remains online at Digital Dragon magazine called Blessed Are the Peacemakers. The aliens in this piece could have been some other Human race, but as this is a Science Fiction story, I thought it would be fun to raise the stakes and make them a very dangerous species known for their hair-trigger temper. Then I tossed in two Terrans who couldn't have been more different and let the fireworks explode. Here's a snip:

 

Tenerife looked over at the Senator who was watching the exchange with calculating eyes. “I asked both of you here for a reason — both of you have experience with the Klakx. Our treaty with the Klakx expires soon. We must renew the treaty or risk sliding back into all-out war.”

Phlagg nodded. “Conflict would disrupt trade, colonial expansion, and galactic peace for decades to come.”

 

 

“I understand war,” said Tenerife, dryly.

 

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Answering a question with a question - I'm already skeptical whether we're going to get a clear answer out of this tangent.

 

Have it your way. The questions are very pointed and not at all on a tangent.

I'm not trying to pose as a guru or get you on a wagon of my fad or clique...sounds like you already have your convictions and choosen people you respect as authorities on the subject.

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It's a simple question - where in scripture do you personally discern the text suggesting the existence of aliens?

 

 

Edit: I don't intend to debate you on your interpretation, I'm merely interested in the texts that lead you to your conclusion.

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Why does this topic always seem like an either-or arguement? It always seems like there are two sides to this.

 

 

First, there are those who seem to think that anything that is strongly Christian in nature is always a lame "Bartender gets saved after someone witnesses to him." It is normally the normal bait-and-switch where the whole story revolves around the chapter where the main character is able to witness to the antagonist.

 

 

Second, there seems to be those who (in my opinion an overcorection of the first view) go to extremes to make sure they don't say anything that is overtly Christian. It is as if anything without cussing and sex can be labled Christian.

 

 

Maybe the truth is in the middle?

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Hi G Lizard,

 

 

You're right. We each have our own convictions and don't have to agree on everything to be friends. My purpose here is to help my fellow believers in Christ with their writing (while getting some in return) spread some joy and offer encouragement when needed. :)

 

 

You simply peaked my curiosity about something I hadn't come across.

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Lydia

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It's a simple question - where in scripture do you personally discern the text suggesting the existence of aliens?

 

 

Edit: I don't intend to debate you on your interpretation, I'm merely interested in the texts that lead you to your conclusion.

 

The whole bible. Genesis 6 and Ezekiel 1 are standouts, but not unique to the subject.

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Hi G Lizard,

 

 

You're right. We each have our own convictions and don't have to agree on everything to be friends. My purpose here is to help my fellow believers in Christ with their writing (while getting some in return) spread some joy and offer encouragement when needed. :)

 

 

You simply peaked my curiosity about something I hadn't come across.

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Lydia

 

Thank you, Lydia. Blessings to you too. The point of my questions is that it isn't proven by a few obscure verses. It's is plain view.

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The whole bible. Genesis 6 and Ezekiel 1 are standouts, but not unique to the subject.

 

I thought you might go there (but at least we're not talking rock monsters redeemed for helping Noah battle meat-eating rebels). The classic views seems compelling enough.

If God wanted us to be persuaded that He created other life in other places, I would think He would have made it as clear as He made angelic hosts, their purpose, their hierarchy, their history. I'm not set against alternate views but they'd need to fit with the rest of scripture to convince me and I just don't see it. I'm more a victim of pragmatism than anything.

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Again, as a literalist: if the entire creation is going to be dissolved in fire in a 1000 years or so, it all seems pretty academic to me. :rolleyes:

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