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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Yeah, it's a scary thing to try and figure out (especially if you have a Christ figure).

And, having seen other books try to have God interacting in a similar way to how he did with some prophets, and they...flopped. I hate reading something that messes up in that area, and I'm afraid of messing up in the same way. But, C.S. Lewis did a good job I think, at least in most cases.

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Yes, I think he did. But it's an awfully tricky thing. One of many reasons I'm no longer writing that book actively. ;) Better safe than sorry, when it comes to dealing with God's character, I think. It's such an important thing... and were we to misrepresent Him, it would be blasphemous.

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Lady Amaris Mimetes wrote:
Yes, I think he did. But it's an awfully tricky thing. One of many reasons I'm no longer writing that book actively. ;) Better safe than sorry, when it comes to dealing with God's character, I think. It's such an important thing... and were we to misrepresent Him, it would be blasphemous.


Yes, better safe than sorry. There is grace for such a mistake, but it would be a horrible one to make anyway...If I were to try and do it, I think I'd probably stick mostly to things that are basically said clearly in scripture and mostly stay away from the finer, more controversial points (as I see them, anyway).

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Formerly RunningWolf, Lycanis (lie-can-iss) is the name of a redeemed race of Werewolves...Mimetes (mim-eight-tase=a follower/imitator) signifies that I am identifying myself as a bro-in-Christ to our King in his current trials.

Beware the symbol of The WereWolf:
Come visit my story-world, Vadra!Click! :evil: If you want to... ;)
Or just check out the newest thread(s): Dustwights and the Kalik

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"Beware the Green Wolf
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Beware the markings
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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Lycanis Mimetes wrote:
Yes, better safe than sorry. There is grace for such a mistake, but it would be a horrible one to make anyway...If I were to try and do it, I think I'd probably stick mostly to things that are basically said clearly in scripture and mostly stay away from the finer, more controversial points (as I see them, anyway).

I agree, and that sounds like a good policy. :) And you can always be growing and refining your approach as you learn more about God. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Lady Amaris Mimetes wrote:
Lycanis Mimetes wrote:
Yes, better safe than sorry. There is grace for such a mistake, but it would be a horrible one to make anyway...If I were to try and do it, I think I'd probably stick mostly to things that are basically said clearly in scripture and mostly stay away from the finer, more controversial points (as I see them, anyway).

I agree, and that sounds like a good policy. :) And you can always be growing and refining your approach as you learn more about God. :)


Exactly. :)

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Formerly RunningWolf, Lycanis (lie-can-iss) is the name of a redeemed race of Werewolves...Mimetes (mim-eight-tase=a follower/imitator) signifies that I am identifying myself as a bro-in-Christ to our King in his current trials.

Beware the symbol of The WereWolf:
Come visit my story-world, Vadra!Click! :evil: If you want to... ;)
Or just check out the newest thread(s): Dustwights and the Kalik

Rejection letter score: 0
"Beware the Green Wolf
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Beware the markings
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Beware the Green Wolf on the night of the moon!"
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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:14 am 
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Yeah... I wasn't crazy about Donita K. Paul's Christ figure.... it is hard to get right.

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Be careful of your thoughts; guard your mind, for your thoughts become words. Be guarded when you speak, for your words turn into action. Watch what you do, for your actions will become habits. Be wary of your habits, for they become your character. Pray over your character; strive to mold it to the image of Christ, because your character will shape your destiny.

Ideas can germinate from the smallest seeds. Collect those seeds, and let them grow in the back of your mind. You may be surprised by what finally blooms.

When God takes something from your grasp, he's not punishing you. Instead, He’s opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Works in progress:

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The Diegosian Rider, 121,400 words (Finished)
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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:15 am 
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Airianna Mimetes wrote:
Yeah... I wasn't crazy about Donita K. Paul's Christ figure.... it is hard to get right.


*nods* That it is.

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Formerly RunningWolf, Lycanis (lie-can-iss) is the name of a redeemed race of Werewolves...Mimetes (mim-eight-tase=a follower/imitator) signifies that I am identifying myself as a bro-in-Christ to our King in his current trials.

Beware the symbol of The WereWolf:
Come visit my story-world, Vadra!Click! :evil: If you want to... ;)
Or just check out the newest thread(s): Dustwights and the Kalik

Rejection letter score: 0
"Beware the Green Wolf
It hunts too soon
By the light of the moon
Beware the markings
And ancient rune
Beware the Green Wolf on the night of the moon!"
-Inesdar (written while in a state of...something)


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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:22 pm 
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* finally finished reading through all this thread * Before I saw this, the thought of how to portray God – or rather, the thought of actually trying to remove him from as close contact with my world as I had been writing him – had not ever occurred to me. The discussion on here has been really good.

But...I do not think that there is much of a difference between writing about God in your fantasy world and talking about him with your friends at church. * pauses * You see...we are portraying him in our lives constantly. We are telling people about our God, and who he is, and what he does. Even if we never talk about him...that is telling people around us that our God is not a God worth talking about. We are portraying him in every single moment that we live while bearing his name. And...that is the reason why I lie in bed at night sometimes, sobbing. Begging him to forgive me. Because I am a Christian – I am his daughter – his bride – and... * pauses for awhile * * closes lips *

But he always forgives. * smiles *

So what I say is...God is a terrible God. And woe be to any who says anything about him that is not true. But...we all do. * brushes hand through hair * And we all need forgiveness. The preacher, the historical fiction writer, the Pope.

All we can do is only what we can always only do, about anything we do that is wrong. Pray for God's strength, watch our selves constantly, and do our best.

Write nothing in your fantasy stories about God that you do not believe is true.

And make sure that what you believe about God is true, whether you write fantasy or not. * smiles *

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Lady Rwebhu Kidh wrote:
All we can do is only what we can always only do, about anything we do that is wrong. Pray for God's strength, watch our selves constantly, and do our best.

Write nothing in your fantasy stories about God that you do not believe is true.

And make sure that what you believe about God is true, whether you write fantasy or not. * smiles *

Very well said. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Jonathan Garner wrote:
Very well said. :)


* smiles a little * Thankyou.

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 2:03 pm 
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Jonathan Garner wrote:
Very well said. :)

Yes. :cool:

I totally agree, Juliet, I had also thought about how you also run into the same problems if you write anything that includes God or a Christian...we just need to pray for guidance, wisdom, discernment and people that we trust that will point out any flaws in our portrayals.

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Formerly RunningWolf, Lycanis (lie-can-iss) is the name of a redeemed race of Werewolves...Mimetes (mim-eight-tase=a follower/imitator) signifies that I am identifying myself as a bro-in-Christ to our King in his current trials.

Beware the symbol of The WereWolf:
Come visit my story-world, Vadra!Click! :evil: If you want to... ;)
Or just check out the newest thread(s): Dustwights and the Kalik

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"Beware the Green Wolf
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Beware the markings
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Beware the Green Wolf on the night of the moon!"
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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:46 am 
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Quote:
we just need to pray for guidance, wisdom, discernment and people that we trust that will point out any flaws in our portrayals.


And that is the key to our success as writers. :D

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Airianna Valenshia

The Rainbow in the Storm- My Blog

Be careful of your thoughts; guard your mind, for your thoughts become words. Be guarded when you speak, for your words turn into action. Watch what you do, for your actions will become habits. Be wary of your habits, for they become your character. Pray over your character; strive to mold it to the image of Christ, because your character will shape your destiny.

Ideas can germinate from the smallest seeds. Collect those seeds, and let them grow in the back of your mind. You may be surprised by what finally blooms.

When God takes something from your grasp, he's not punishing you. Instead, He’s opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Works in progress:

The Diegosian Mark, 115,600 words (Preparing for Publication)
The Diegosian Rider, 121,400 words (Finished)
The Diegosian Warrior, 15,000 (In Progress)


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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:41 pm 

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Uh-huh! Nicely said...

And it's impossible to ever get *Him* right. He's too big. Yet he doesn't require us to convey the whole weight of His glory every time we speak of Him - that's up to *Him* to convey to the person's heart.

And it's possible that different works can stress different aspects of his nature, focus in on one area. Ted Dekker's Elyon is very loving, romantic, passionate for his beloved. Aslan is good, and just. Gandalf is sacrificial and wise, etc.

I especially enjoyed the God-the-Father representation in the controversial (and yes, heretical) book The Shack. It did a great job of breaking stereotypes, of telling us how much we don't know about God, by showing Him as a rather overweight middle-aged African-American woman. Named Papa. Now *that* was an interesting read.

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:58 pm 
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*shivers * I innocently read that when my Grandmother gave it to me, saying it was an amazing book. :P

I'm not sure how I felt about the portrayal of God.... I liked the familiarity, but.... I think the portrayal lacked His deity. His awesomeness. It felt a bit... warm fuzzy to me, in a negative way...

*jumps to another topic * However, I think Christian authors often forget the relational side of God when they write Him in their stories. They tend to focus on the deity of God, at the exclusion of His other attributes.

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Airianna Valenshia

The Rainbow in the Storm- My Blog

Be careful of your thoughts; guard your mind, for your thoughts become words. Be guarded when you speak, for your words turn into action. Watch what you do, for your actions will become habits. Be wary of your habits, for they become your character. Pray over your character; strive to mold it to the image of Christ, because your character will shape your destiny.

Ideas can germinate from the smallest seeds. Collect those seeds, and let them grow in the back of your mind. You may be surprised by what finally blooms.

When God takes something from your grasp, he's not punishing you. Instead, He’s opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Works in progress:

The Diegosian Mark, 115,600 words (Preparing for Publication)
The Diegosian Rider, 121,400 words (Finished)
The Diegosian Warrior, 15,000 (In Progress)


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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:52 pm 
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Airianna Mimetes wrote:
Quote:
we just need to pray for guidance, wisdom, discernment and people that we trust that will point out any flaws in our portrayals.


And that is the key to our success as writers. :D

Yes. :D

Dr. W. Eli McGowan wrote:
Uh-huh! Nicely said...

And it's impossible to ever get *Him* right. He's too big. Yet he doesn't require us to convey the whole weight of His glory every time we speak of Him - that's up to *Him* to convey to the person's heart.

And it's possible that different works can stress different aspects of his nature, focus in on one area. Ted Dekker's Elyon is very loving, romantic, passionate for his beloved. Aslan is good, and just. Gandalf is sacrificial and wise, etc.


Very true, we can't avoid missing something in our portrayal, and even accidentally adding something (but of course we can avoid adding something too misrepresentative, through God's grace).

That's a really interesting thought, you're right, each deity figure (or sub-deity figure) tends to emphasize a few key aspects of God, and I think that's what helps us be able to "see" him in that way...to see Aslan's (and even Gandalf's) sacrifice gives us new appreciation for God's own sacrificial love, because it was in a picture that brought that one thing out more than the "whole" picture that we have of God.

Dr. W. Eli McGowan wrote:
I especially enjoyed the God-the-Father representation in the controversial (and yes, heretical) book The Shack. It did a great job of breaking stereotypes, of telling us how much we don't know about God, by showing Him as a rather overweight middle-aged African-American woman. Named Papa. Now *that* was an interesting read.


It does sound interesting, and I can see how you might be able to get something out of it....not planning on reading it though. :P

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Formerly RunningWolf, Lycanis (lie-can-iss) is the name of a redeemed race of Werewolves...Mimetes (mim-eight-tase=a follower/imitator) signifies that I am identifying myself as a bro-in-Christ to our King in his current trials.

Beware the symbol of The WereWolf:
Come visit my story-world, Vadra!Click! :evil: If you want to... ;)
Or just check out the newest thread(s): Dustwights and the Kalik

Rejection letter score: 0
"Beware the Green Wolf
It hunts too soon
By the light of the moon
Beware the markings
And ancient rune
Beware the Green Wolf on the night of the moon!"
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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Dr. W. Eli McGowan wrote:
And it's possible that different works can stress different aspects of his nature, focus in on one area. Ted Dekker's Elyon is very loving, romantic, passionate for his beloved. Aslan is good, and just. Gandalf is sacrificial and wise, etc.
I am not sure what you mean, so I don't know if I agree with you. In my belief, if you say that something is God, then it must be God as far as in you lies. God emphasizes different parts of his character by different actions, and I do not think that that would be bad. But...emphasis is different from exclusion, if you see what I am saying.

Of course, characters can be used to portray different aspects of God.... I hope that I am portraying them. * smiles a bit * That's what he does here, portrays many, many aspects of himself through the things he has made. We can do that too. Like Gandalf...he was not God and was not meant to be God. But he displayed attributes of him. As for Aslan, in my opinion he was God. God in every way.

I don't know about Elyon because I haven't read that book... :)

Dr. W. Eli McGowan wrote:
I especially enjoyed the God-the-Father representation in the controversial (and yes, heretical) book The Shack. It did a great job of breaking stereotypes, of telling us how much we don't know about God, by showing Him as a rather overweight middle-aged African-American woman. Named Papa. Now *that* was an interesting read.
Oh yeah...'de Shack'. That is Definitely an interesting book. :D I read it awhile ago. I don't know any of the controversy about it, though I know that it is controversial. All I saw about it is that it had some things wrong and some things right. Like most any theological work I've read. :)

However, back to the subject of God in a novel...I do think his portrayal of God was flawed. But helpful, nonetheless. It taught some things that aren't often taught. (I don't think God deciding to manifest himself as a middle-aged black woman was the flaw, though, just for the record... :D He made them after all, and has manifested himself as animals before.)

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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Airianna Mimetes wrote:
Yeah... I wasn't crazy about Donita K. Paul's Christ figure.... it is hard to get right.


Actually, if you're refering to her original series (the name escapes me) she clarified online that the character many had mistaken for Christ is not meant to represent God. She has hinted elsewhere that he (was his name Paladin, or something?) may be similar to the Pope.

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Redemption is to be purchased, to have a price paid. So I was redeemed from my master sin, and from justice, which demanded my death. For He paid the price of sin by becoming sin, and met the demands of justice by dying for us.

For all men have a master. But a man cannot have two masters. For he will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and sin. So I die to the old, as He died, and I am resurrected to the new, as He was resurrected.

Note: Ebed is Hebrew for bondsman, Eleutheros is Greek for unrestrained (not a slave).


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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:00 am 
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Really. Interesting, Jordan. I didn't see that.

Yes, Paladin was his name. :D

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Airianna Valenshia

The Rainbow in the Storm- My Blog

Be careful of your thoughts; guard your mind, for your thoughts become words. Be guarded when you speak, for your words turn into action. Watch what you do, for your actions will become habits. Be wary of your habits, for they become your character. Pray over your character; strive to mold it to the image of Christ, because your character will shape your destiny.

Ideas can germinate from the smallest seeds. Collect those seeds, and let them grow in the back of your mind. You may be surprised by what finally blooms.

When God takes something from your grasp, he's not punishing you. Instead, He’s opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Works in progress:

The Diegosian Mark, 115,600 words (Preparing for Publication)
The Diegosian Rider, 121,400 words (Finished)
The Diegosian Warrior, 15,000 (In Progress)


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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:00 am 
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Airianna Mimetes wrote:
Really. Interesting, Jordan. I didn't see that.

Yes, Paladin was his name. :D


And that annoyed me, because in Luther there's a character named Spalatin, but everybody says "paladin" and so, when reading those books, I envisioned a long-haired lawyer who speaks German and Latin and hangs out with outlaw Bible translators in Gothic castles.

And yes, it did bother me that the books make him seem like Jesus. And the pope thing isn't very clear either. You have to hear it from him.

Now, I'm going to weigh in here. Or wade in here. Actually, instead of getting wet, maybe I'll just toss my hat in.

You can't go wrong repeating God's words. There's something in there that is appropriate for every possible situation in your story, even humor.

Maybe this has already been said, but I think the ultimate point here: when portraying God, do it in such a way that honors Him (this should be obvious). Glorify Him with honest worship. He understands offerings better than anyone. Give it as an offering. Your inadequacies are not something that needs forgiveness. Rather, your praise is worthy of heavenly rewards.

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I am Ebed Eleutheros, redeemed from slavery in sin to the bond-service of my Master, Jesus Christ.

Redemption is to be purchased, to have a price paid. So I was redeemed from my master sin, and from justice, which demanded my death. For He paid the price of sin by becoming sin, and met the demands of justice by dying for us.

For all men have a master. But a man cannot have two masters. For he will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and sin. So I die to the old, as He died, and I am resurrected to the new, as He was resurrected.

Note: Ebed is Hebrew for bondsman, Eleutheros is Greek for unrestrained (not a slave).


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 Post subject: Re: Using a God in Novels
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:20 pm 

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Good thoughts. I started a topic on this principle of "How much do we have to get right" in allegory in general.

I loved "Papa" from the Shack.

Funny Airi, my pastor-grandfather recommended it to me.

Good thoughts Neil and Lycanis.

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