1/30/2009

Science Fiction - Religious Science

In the new issue of Christianity Today, the cover story is about Science Fiction and "how the genre draws us to its own views of redemption." The author, James A. Herrick, writes,
"Ironically, the universe that science stripped of the supernatural is being resupplied with deities and redemptive purposes by science fiction writers and moviemakers. Apparently, we cannot do without myths."

Having been a fan of the genre for most of my life, I am very in tune with this. And the future of Christian apologetics will need to address the counter-myths that our pop culture's sci-fi stories have created.

As Herrick says, pop culture is "now our most potent form of religious persuasion... Arguments against Christianity and in support of rival worldviews now arrive daily as embedded components of visual and written fiction. Pop-culture fiction, not academic nonfiction, is now the cutting edge of public discourse on spirituality."

4 comments:

Marcus Goodyear said...

Ooh, ooh. I've got to get my hands on the new issue. I'm a complete scifi nerd (but I'm picky about what I like.)

Great Googly Moogly! said...

It seems that Paul was right when he suggested that we all know the truth but we supress it in our unrighteousness. As human beings, we're drawn to stories of "redemption" because we know that things are "not the way they're supposed to be" (to borrow from Plantinga).

Now, as Christians, we must draw people to the true story of redemption--not some sci-fi thriller, but the Gospel of the historical Jesus of Nazareth!

Of course, (with all due respect to my dispensational brethren), with the "Left Behind" foolishness making a mockery of the Gospel, we have our work cut out for us! :-)

GGM

BTW--I actually do like that Coldplay record you mentioned (Sshh...don't tell anybody!).

Mark said...

C.S. Lewis was proposing myths when he wrote the Space Trilogy and asked the question has the fall happened on other worlds too?

I read Ursula LeGuinn take him to task as using Christian doctrine to write stories...manipulate them as a propaganda tool. She did not like the Narnia stories, but I don't recall what she thought about his Space Trilogy.

Bob Robinson said...

Mark,
Yes, the term "myth" that Herrick is using is the one defined by C.S. Lewis: a transcendent story that helps make sense of our place in the cosmos. Lewis suggested that the Christian gospel is "God's myth" - "not because it is fiction, but because it is a story that gives ultimate meaning."