be called a lie since it really didn't happen and sure you could brand that all as bad and sinful. I'd even agree that fiction is sinful when it becomes a time waster. Don't plop down and for endless hours to watch reruns or warehouse kids in front of the TV as a babysitter, there are more meaning full ways to spend time. However, to enjoy and consider a new work of fiction that speaks to you and enlightens your mind is a fantastic experience that we've all had. Consider the different statues of David, the ones many of us studied in our college humanities courses. Not all of them look exactly alike but each sends a message, is a work of interpretive fiction. There is moment frozen in the marble or metal resulting from a reasonable interpretation of the biblical story. Even a non-believer can relish the story about the faithful underdog and appreciate the beauty of the art work.
As far as those unwilling to suspend their disbelief long enough to enjoy a story that isn't religiously correct, aren't they the same people who expect non-believers to listen to their conversions attempts? If one of the tenants of your belief system is to be closed mined, what happens if your new potential convert mimics you and accepts that *one* tenant of your belief system first, prior to accepting Christ??? There must be a better example to lead by.
how do you deal with the religious treatment of traditional science fiction themes as somewhat blasphemous? First: who said you have to stay traditional with those concepts if that is your audience. There's plenty of new ground to cover. Second: a writer can work with those issues, but in a way that appeals to the stronger desires, such as that all this annoying trending towards secularism will get reversed in the future. Third: debate the ethics of their use or even debate their impossibility. Let the fundamentalist viewpoint win; that almost worked for Galileo!
I think there’s two fundamental problems involved here: Number one is a degree of technophobia. I personally knew a lot of Baptists who believed this in to the late 1970s, maybe longer. I’ve met more than one person who feels the space program is inherently sinful because we’re treading on God’s domain, whatever that means. While these kinds of people are by no means the majority in Christianity, I do think many of us have wrestled with it at times. People have a tendency just to assume anything they don’t understand is supernatural or divine, when, in fact, most of it is just stuff they haven’t figured out *yet* like electricity and nuclear physics. However, since we’ve misidentified so much stuff as being supernatural, when it turns out to be just another part of the EM spectrum or what have you, that makes the supernatural - and hence God - seem that much smaller and by extension it makes them seem smaller, too. This is not an expressly Christian problem - I’ve had Daoist engineers tell me in no uncertain terms that Nuclear power is evil - But I think this gut instinct to cringe whenever science discovers some new wonder when we really should be praising God for it as Ovadiah said is probably the reason the small Christian SF genre of the 50s ultimately dried up, because people who are morally frightened of televisions just aren‘t going to dig stories about spaceships.
The other problem is that such Christian SF as has been produced recently is all about proving the bible to be true. “We found an abandoned nephilim moonbase, and in it we found video footage of Noahs’ flood” and so on. As well-meaning as this kind of stuff may be, it’s sort of like that guy in Texas who went out and carved human footprints next to real dinosaur footprints in the rocks near his home: it’s just fundamentally wrongheaded. We are told repeatedly in the bible that we must have faith, and that ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.’ Some or all of the stuff in the bible may be literally true, or it may all be a colossal metaphor, but none of us are ever going to know for sure, nor are we meant to. It is inherent in the design of the bible that your acceptance or denial of these things is based on your own personal faith, and not some lunkheaded attempt to prove the age of the earth. Because if you could *prove* it, you don’t need faith to believe in facts, they’re obviously still there even when you’re not looking at them. I don’t pretend to understand why faith is so important to God, and why He doesn’t just come out and tell us stuff, but obviously it’s pretty important to Him, and so any attempt to *prove* things He wants us to merely believe in, to *know* what He only wants us to feel strikes me as, well, sinful.
Both of these problems are simply matters of outlook, however. They’re not inherent in the Bible or Christianity, or even Christians ourselves. They can easily be solved with a bit of philosophical education from the churches themselves, just explain things to them “More adequately,” as St. Luke says in Acts. But until that happens, I dunno….I don’t think there’s too grand a future for it. As we saw in the 1950s.
Ok, that’s it. I’d like to thank everyone for taking part, and you for reading. Please tune in again next time when our topic will be “Why are the parking lots in donut shops always so small?”