November 18, 2018, 06:43:34 PM

Author Topic: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors  (Read 2313 times)

Offline craigdressler

Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« on: January 16, 2018, 04:38:48 PM »
The following is my short list of favorite Christian fantasy authors:
1) Stephen Lawhead
2) Karen Hancock
3) Patrick Carr
4) Jill Williamson

Feel free to add others if you want.

Offline ArhiX

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 07:20:29 PM »
I am a Christian and this is the first time I met with this term. I always thought that Christianity doesn't go well together with fantasy. In my country, Church openly spoke against reading fantasy books - at least a big part of it - because it can be dangerous.

In example "Harry Potter" because it befriends young people with magic, witchcraft and occultism or even "Twilight" because werewolves and vampires. There were even 10 reasons why "HP" books are evil.
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Az arche mahi Azem. Sevishta. Aiwithura. Azata. Pareshi...

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 08:30:00 PM »
I am a Christian and this is the first time I met with this term. I always thought that Christianity doesn't go well together with fantasy. In my country, Church openly spoke against reading fantasy books - at least a big part of it - because it can be dangerous.

In example "Harry Potter" because it befriends young people with magic, witchcraft and occultism or even "Twilight" because werewolves and vampires. There were even 10 reasons why "HP" books are evil.

That's fascinating! I was aware of the worry about the Harry Potter books among certain sects of Christianity, but not aware it had been applied to fantasy in general. That's the first I've heard of a general warning against all fantasy novels or media.

The earliest fantasy I read with strong Christian overtones was The Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan, the benevolent lion who sacrifices himself for the sins of others and is resurrected days later, is quite possibly the most literal Jesus allegory I've ever read. The creation of Narnia (in Book 5) is actually the story of Genesis in Disney'fied form. There's even a final book (7) where a war consumes Narnia and only the true believers can pass through the gate to the promised land. Those worshipping the "false god" are left behind in darkness.

At the time I read these, of course, I was very young (8-10, I think) and, humorously enough, completely unaware of the allegories, despite going to church on a regular basis (my parents were Methodist, which, for those unfamilar with various Christian denominations, are among the most easy-going of Christian groups). So I just though they were cool stories, and only later became aware of the inspiration for C.S. Lewis' writing.

But as far as I'm aware, there has always been a vast and varied pantheon of "Christian friendly" SFF fiction. The most well known might be the Left Behind series (primarily for evangelicals) but there's dozens more. So it surprises me that your church would generically caution against reading all fantasy, rather than singling out specific books for angst (like Harry Potter).

Offline ArhiX

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 08:52:29 PM »

That's fascinating! I was aware of the worry about the Harry Potter books among certain sects of Christianity, but not aware it had been applied to fantasy in general. That's the first I've heard of a general warning against all fantasy novels or media.

Many preachers spoke against Harry Potter. Sometimes some REALLY bad things. And with HP - fantasy in general. Besides my teacher from highschool was really concerned about me and my friend loving fantasy books, as books like this tend to put people away from real world and faith... She was even more concerned when we told her, that we are creating our own fantasy world, but beside this, she was a very nice and helpfull person - concerned but still supportive for our projects.

My GF's religious mother on the other side thinks that Harry Potter books are evil... But only Harry Potter. Other fantasy books are fine for her.
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Az arche mahi Azem. Sevishta. Aiwithura. Azata. Pareshi...

Offline cupiscent

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 09:31:46 PM »
Aslan, the benevolent lion who sacrifices himself for the sins of others and is resurrected days later, is quite possibly the most literal Jesus allegory I've ever read.

Watching the movie, when the stone altar splits, I said out loud in the cinema, "Are you kidding me?!" I read the books after that and yeah, not subtle about it at all.

I'm not sure what really comprises Christian fantasy, though. It is fantasy that promotes compassion and charity? Or is it fantasy concerned with monotheistic faith? I mean... GGKay's work is so brimful of humanity and understanding that I find it feels very "with god" to me, but it's much wider in its scope than Christianity only.

Offline DrNefario

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 10:00:01 PM »
It was subtle enough for me to be to be totally oblivious as a kid.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 12:37:23 AM »
I'm not sure what really comprises Christian fantasy, though. It is fantasy that promotes compassion and charity? Or is it fantasy concerned with monotheistic faith? I mean... GGKay's work is so brimful of humanity and understanding that I find it feels very "with god" to me, but it's much wider in its scope than Christianity only.

My understanding is that (like Christian music and other media) what would be termed "Christian fantasy" explicitly acknowledges Christian religious beliefs as correct, and those beliefs are usually integral to the fantasy itself. Left Behind, one I mentioned, is explicitly based on the evangelical belief that those who have accepted Jesus (as specifically called out in evangelical teachings) will all be raptured, leaving those who were not among the chosen behind on Earth. Its main characters were not raptured for whatever reason when Jesus returned, and the story progresses as the Earth grows more volatile and the anti-Christ gains strength, leading to the apocalypse.

The series was super popular among evangelicals, specifically, but it's among the only fantasy books I've come across that were specifically marketed as Christian fantasy. I'd be curious what else is out there, though!

Offline Rostum

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 01:01:25 AM »
I certainly follow no middle eastern religion although, see I can see merit and practicality in some of the societal values they try to live up to. I do have questions though.

Why should the religion of the author matter? Why limit yourself and filter your relaxation time in this way? you have made a number of posts with a Christian context on the site, which is fine but response has been limited. I would suggest reading outside Christian based fantasy or works from Christian authors you may be pleasantly surprised.



Offline Elfy

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Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 08:53:22 AM »
It was subtle enough for me to be to be totally oblivious as a kid.
Me too, and I was brought up Catholic.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 05:08:29 PM »
I'm not sure what really comprises Christian fantasy, though. It is fantasy that promotes compassion and charity? Or is it fantasy concerned with monotheistic faith? I mean... GGKay's work is so brimful of humanity and understanding that I find it feels very "with god" to me, but it's much wider in its scope than Christianity only.

My understanding is that (like Christian music and other media) what would be termed "Christian fantasy" explicitly acknowledges Christian religious beliefs as correct, and those beliefs are usually integral to the fantasy itself. Left Behind, one I mentioned, is explicitly based on the evangelical belief that those who have accepted Jesus (as specifically called out in evangelical teachings) will all be raptured, leaving those who were not among the chosen behind on Earth. Its main characters were not raptured for whatever reason when Jesus returned, and the story progresses as the Earth grows more volatile and the anti-Christ gains strength, leading to the apocalypse.

The series was super popular among evangelicals, specifically, but it's among the only fantasy books I've come across that were specifically marketed as Christian fantasy. I'd be curious what else is out there, though!
Just a scary thought to offer here. I was raised with the belief that the Left Behind books represented what would really happen. Sadly, I believed that until the middle of last year.

The church I grew up in said Harry Potter was evil, some Disney shows with magic were evil, His Dark Materials is evil... It's ridiculous. At least in Harry Potter, there's nothing super non-Christian in there. The entire conflict is loves triumph over hatred. That's exactly what Christianity is supposed to be about, but considering how deeply it's been twisted over the last few centuries...

This may surprise some people here, but I would consider Brent Weeks Christian fantasy. It doesn't fit into the standard definition, but if you read his books watching for the Christian symbolism, there's plenty of it. Night Angel has some, but Light Bringer definitely has a lot more.

I studied Mormonism for fun this year, and if you read Sanderson's books, it's pretty loaded with Mormon theology. I didn't notice when I read them, but thinking back to my research, now I see it all. Mormons aren't regarded as Christians by most people, but they consider themselves to be so there's that. McClellan's books don't have any at all though, which is slightly surprising since he's a former student of Sanderson from BYU.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 08:42:42 PM »
My mother, who was about as Catholic as someone could get, read the Harry Potter books and quite enjoyed them. I actually had a discussion with our local priest about them. He enjoyed them too, never understood why certain sections of the church didn't and he was quite scathing of the then Pope's denunciation of the books (in fact he didn't like that Pope at all, always referred to him rather snidely as 'Ratzinger'). He made a point of coming over to me before the service on the weekend that Deathly Hallows was released and asking if I had already picked up a copy of it.
If you look hard enough at most things and you want to find something to be offended by then you're very likely to find it.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 09:10:07 PM »
I studied Mormonism for fun this year, and if you read Sanderson's books, it's pretty loaded with Mormon theology. I didn't notice when I read them, but thinking back to my research, now I see it all. Mormons aren't regarded as Christians by most people, but they consider themselves to be so there's that. McClellan's books don't have any at all though, which is slightly surprising since he's a former student of Sanderson from BYU.

That's really interesting! I've always wondered about how much Mormon stuff there was in the Wheel of Time as well, but I don't know enough to pick out anything except the multiple-wives element.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 06:29:20 AM »
I studied Mormonism for fun this year, and if you read Sanderson's books, it's pretty loaded with Mormon theology. I didn't notice when I read them, but thinking back to my research, now I see it all. Mormons aren't regarded as Christians by most people, but they consider themselves to be so there's that. McClellan's books don't have any at all though, which is slightly surprising since he's a former student of Sanderson from BYU.

That's really interesting! I've always wondered about how much Mormon stuff there was in the Wheel of Time as well, but I don't know enough to pick out anything except the multiple-wives element.
I haven't read the Sandersons, but if theres Mormonism he must have introduced it because I don't  think Jordan was Mormon. A number of popular fantasy authors are Mormon, though. Tracy Hickman and Shannon Hale are 2 I only recently became aware are Mormons.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline xiagan

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Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2018, 08:38:32 PM »
My name's Christian, so the novels I write are Christian fantasy, right? ;)

(I'm not keen on having religious beliefs in my fantasy. So if something is labeled Christian fantasy I would avoid it.)
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline cupiscent

Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2018, 08:56:43 PM »
I've always wondered about how much Mormon stuff there was in the Wheel of Time as well, but I don't know enough to pick out anything except the multiple-wives element.
I haven't read the Sandersons, but if theres Mormonism he must have introduced it because I don't  think Jordan was Mormon. A number of popular fantasy authors are Mormon, though. Tracy Hickman and Shannon Hale are 2 I only recently became aware are Mormons.

...I could've sworn I was told Back In The Day that Jordon was Mormon, and then when they picked Sanderson to continue the series I was all, "Oh, that makes sense." But now I google and apparently not. So today I learned something and corrected my misconception, so today is already a good day. :)