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In which a book sparks a theological ramble - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

About In which a book sparks a theological ramble

Previous Entry In which a book sparks a theological ramble Oct. 29th, 2008 @ 08:48 am Next Entry
I was reading "The Deed of Paksennareon" (sp??) by Elizabeth Moon this past week, and a few things sparked an idea - you know how it is. You read something, which makes you *think*, and you start free-associating, and pretty soon you have this...this....theory which makes you think even more, and you end up someplace you didn't think you'd get to. (C'mon, I *can't* be the only person to go on one of those rides!)

Anyway, for those who haven't read this: basically, it's about a plain, ordinary *girl*, who becomes a Paladin (a...warrior for Good, in this book) after having a lot of shit happen to her. She starts out as a sheepfarmer's daughter (yeah, that's what grabbed my attention first :lol:). She runs away from home and joins a mercenary troop....she has no problems as long as the battles fit her ideas of "good", but when the commander gets involved with something "not so good" (ie, torture), she takes her leave and goes adventuring. She does some heroic-type stuff, gets into the training program for a "good god" (well, saint, but he's worshipped like a god), gets involved with evil, loses her "courage", gets treated like scum, gets chosen by the gods (note the Plural, please!), becomes an out-of-the-ordinary paladin, sacrifices herself for her former commander, gets tortured (for *5* days and nights) gets miraculously healed, blah blah blah.

Now, what first sparked an idea was the whole idea that paladins can cast light. That imediately caused me to think of "May your light so shine among others" (which is quoted at Baptism ceremonies, at least in the Lutheran church)....and I started looking for other Biblical parallells. Bear with me - I'm going somewhere with this. :grin:

There were a *lot*....the whole "High Lord" thing, the "saints", the "evil lords".....even the whole sacrificing herself for others thing...and I started thinking. I can't be the only person to look at a secular book and notice Biblical stuff in it...only, *altered*.

Take the Narnia series (PLEASE take it.....:ahem:) - there's a whole group of chrischuns that are promoting it as Biblical truth. I can sorta agree, with the first book, anyway. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe CAN be looked at as a chrischun allegory.....only, it's not - not really. The lion is only "dead" for a few hours, at most, and when he resurects he's *perfect*, no sign of his torture at all. But, anyway - OK, that one I can see where they're going with it, and I can agree that yes, OK, allegory it is. And yes, it CAN spark an interest for the Truth in people. Good show....carry on.

The *rest* of the series, though, blows a hole in that theory larger than the Grand Canyon. Prince Caspian marries a star's daughter, for pete's sake (and I don't mean Rock - I mean, a star-star, like Sol)! The lion "sings" Narnia into existance - but the witch comes in from another dimension with plans to take over, AND she brings a part of *our* dimension with her (the lamp post, people - it came from London! 1920's London, if memory serves me correctly). The last battle - a demon is allowed into paradise, because of all the "good" things that he did - they were accepted as deeds done FOR Aslan. There are other problems - but these I can think of off of the top of my head.

Now, I *like* the series, as FANTASY. My kids have seen TLTWATW more times than I can recount, and I'll be buying Caspian - eventually. HOWEVER, I don't lead them to believe that these are Truth-based - they're just a fun, relatively "safe" movie. (I won't get into the whole Lord of the Rings saga.....Tolkien himself said there was NO chrischun meaning in it....but people can "find" things anywhere, if they look hard enough)

Here's where I ended up: many people find a nugget of Truth in something like this, and jump on it, but never realize how much NON-Truth is also there. Look at chrischuns as a whole - all the pagan practices that have "snuck" into the church, and are now widely accepted, all because of the nugget of Truth that came in with them. The early Christians meant well....but they modified Truth to make it more palatable for the pagans they were trying to convert. (Yes, I'm talking about Xmess and easter here. Among others.) How many churches today host "Harvest Festivals" for Halloween? (Same thing, they just dressed it up with a chrischun theme and call it evangalism. :sigh:)

The church is finding itself in a lot of trouble these days, and I can't help but think it's because of this exact thing - they've added to what they are supposed to be teaching, and they don't even realize it. In fact, if you go to your local church and point any of this out, you'll probably end up out on the street (ask me how I know...:sad sigh:). The saddest thing to me is that they don't even realize it - and they Don't Want to Know. Then they lose their faith - if they even really had any - and can't figure out what they did wrong.

Anyway...talk amongst yourselves. Ms. boss isn't in this morning, and I've got a "fluff" entry brewing, so I'll get started on *that*. 2 entries in 1 day.....don't know if it's your lucky day or not! :grin:
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From:hugh_mannity
Date:October 29th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
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FWIW, the Narnia series was written by a most devout Christian who was also a theologian. It's not a biblical tale, and one is not supposed to take it literally, but it does espouse the Christian virtues of faith, honour, honesty, et al.

Elizabeth Moon has an LJ.
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From:fiberaddict
Date:October 29th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
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*If* I remember correctly, C S Lewis was NOT chrischun when he wrote Narnia...in fact, I vaguely remember him arguing with Tolkien about it. He also backslid - a lot - in his later years, and (again, my memory is fuzzy - I'll try to look up quotes later, but the boss is (I think) coming in this afternoon, so it might be a while) ended up far, far from where he started.

E. Moon has an LJ? I need to go check it out - I like her writing style!
(spin a yarn)
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