As a Christian reader, I found myself drifting toward non-Christian books after high school. I no longer had my mother feeding me good Christian novels, and the covers and overall marketing were catchy. Plus, it was what my friends were reading. Thus, I fell into several of the popular movements and was surprised when my heart started to feel down.
I know. It should have been obvious. Hangs head.
Add all this to the fact that I discovered I really love reading fantasy, but it is becoming an increasingly dark market, and I knew I had a problem.
But I love fantasy!
AND I thought Christian Fantasy was washed out. It was preachy. Church didn’t fit in my fantasy. Right?
But first let me tell you about some life changing Christian Fantasy Fiction, I’ve had the pleasure of benefitting from.
One of the best books my mother ever handed to me was Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness. In fact, it was the inspiration behind Hunted by Darkness. It’s impact on my life had a ripple effect that exists even today thirty years later. It was my first foray into the world of truth delivered in fiction, and I loved it. But I hadn’t developed the sense back then, I blame it on an underdeveloped frontal lobe, to start seeking these types of books out.
This book taught me about the spiritual world. A world I believed existed. A world the church and preachers, including my father, spoke about in passing. Angels and demons are very real, but the message in church seemed to be – we don’t talk about that. It was almost taboo. Maybe because they didn’t understand it (no one does), or maybe because they didn’t want to fall into some kind of temptation (angel worship). I’m not one hundred percent sure, but it’s been interesting to me throughout my life of going to church, that most preachers don’t spend hardly any time on this topic. At least none I’ve had.
But as a young person I struggled with this concept, and as Frank Peretti’s book brought this very real world to life for me, I began to really delve into my spiritual health and well being and that of those around me.
A second Christian Fantasy Fiction book I want to tell you about is one that I’ve never read. The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay has had some wild reviews both for and against it. My pastor currently seems to despise this book, but I couldn’t be more grateful for it. If Hal Lindsay hadn’t written this book, and my father not receive it as a gift, I wouldn’t be a Christian today. It’s witness changed the trajectory of my dad’s life, and thus the lives of everyone he’s come in contact with since. And that’s a ton!
So I write Christian Fantasy Fiction because I believe it is a mission field for the lost and the young. Is it TRUE, no it’s fiction – add Jesus taught in parables. We learn a lot from the fictional stories we read, and it is important that young people who love fantasy have a clean and healthy option to dive into and grow from.
I also write because I can’t tell my students what I believe. I can’t tell them in class what the real problem is with everything. Sin. We live in a fallen world. I can’t tell them there is a savior who desperately wants to save them, to heal them, to bring them home to love and hope forever.
So, I write it for all of my students. I write them for the future dads out there. I write it because someone out there needs to read it, and I pray every day that it gets into the hands that will be touched by it.
Finally, I write it because the truth of the Christian faith is – we are at spiritual war, and most days, it feels like we are walking around unaware. It’s like the enemy has so successfully distracted us with the business, the blinding small problems, the illnesses that we forget we are the sons and daughters of the Most High God. And so, I want to bring awareness to the real issues at hand.
Our eyes need not be on the pandemic or the war in the Ukraine or even the rising prices at the pumps and everywhere else. The only thing that will have any power to create change in our lives and the lives around us is prayer and the power of Jesus’s name.
J. L. Burrows