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bylinebree
08-01-2006, 08:52 AM
I'm asking mostly from a fantasy genre point of view, but other ideas are welcome.

I'm wrestling with how to portray the Son of God in my sequel. The first book introduced the monotheistic idea of God to the kingdom, as contrasted with both idol-worshipping and humanism. Sort of a Judaic "Jehovah" concept, no savior showing up yet in their theology.

But I want him to -- I miss Jesus being in there! There is an ancient Scroll showing up, but no Messiah-Savior...and I'm really wanting to portray Jesus somehow.

I do introduce the ideas of blood-sacrifice and selfless, God-oriented love and service in the "new believers" in the kingdom. Also will introduce martyrdom and evangelism more in the second.

Unique
08-01-2006, 04:01 PM
Hey, bylinebree.

Here's an idea - flog it about, keep or discard as you like:

In Scripture, Jesus disappears from the narrative from about age 12 til about age 30. Just a thought - but what if He were traveling in other parts of the world, i.e. China, the wilds of North America, Africa, South America....

Your story may not even take place on this earth but you could have your savior returning from a long absence. A lot can change in 20 years. How he deals with what he returns to could be a whole book in itself.

It's your story - you don't have to describe his birth and growth. He could arrive on the scene fully grown.

- just a concept. use it if you like or not.

alleycat
08-01-2006, 04:36 PM
I’m not sure if any of these are workable for what you’re doing, but here’s some off-the-cuff ideas . . .

Introduce a new character (perhaps a sort of “thirteenth disciple” or a non-believing Roman) who lived during the time of Christ and recorded his own thoughts about the teaching of Jesus. The writings of his character become a starting point for introducing Jesus.

Have some of your characters founding a new church based on the things Jesus taught (similar to what Thomas Jefferson did when he created his own version of the Bible based on the words of Christ).

Have a “current day” character similar to Paul; that is, a man who begins as anything but Godly, then converts and become a leader of a new movement.

Have a church which has been founded on a belief in the Old Testament rather than the New Testament (although not Jewish) wrestle with the idea of a Messiah.

Take any of Jesus’ well-known teachings and apply it to a number of characters. Perhaps one character “sees” the effects on others.

Anyway, just some ideas. I wasn’t completely sure what you were looking for from your original post.

ac

Dan A Lewis
08-01-2006, 09:27 PM
Lewis said that if God ever appeared to clams, he would do it as a paragon of perfect clamhood. Think about the fantasy culture you are working with and ask yourself what a matchless person would look like in that culture.

On the other hand, Jesus was an itinerant nobody too. He wasn't a rock star that everyone idolized. Lots of people hated him, because he made them look like fools and challenged the structures of power and respectability in his culture. Think about your culture and what Jesus would come to turn upside down in it.

bylinebree
08-02-2006, 06:39 PM
OK, I couldnt' separate the quote into sections, so my answers are next to the **

I’m not sure if any of these are workable for what you’re doing, but here’s some off-the-cuff ideas . . .

Have some of your characters founding a new church based on the things Jesus taught (similar to what Thomas Jefferson did when he created his own version of the Bible based on the words of Christ).
** Yes, this IS the kind of "church" in this created world.

Have a “current day” character similar to Paul; that is, a man who begins as anything but Godly, then converts and become a leader of a new movement.

**Yes! I have an old man from an enemy country who is like this -- turns out he is the one who sent the "gospel" to them; and a young, wild warrior of "them" (sorry) who converts and becomes his disciple. Aren't we all anything but godly until God starts working in us...?

Have a church which has been founded on a belief in the Old Testament rather than the New Testament (although not Jewish) wrestle with the idea of a Messiah.

**Yes! That is exactly what they start out to be - I'm just trying to figure out how to introduce NT concepts in the second bk. Have the idea of a "missing section of scroll" that does reveal that a Savior already came &* completed the work they know only the beginning of.

Take any of Jesus’ well-known teachings and apply it to a number of characters. Perhaps one character “sees” the effects on others.

**Yes, again (are you reading my mind?) I can expand on this much more, though.

Anyway, just some ideas. I wasn’t completely sure what you were looking for from your original post.

ac

Great ideas so far from all - no room to quote all of you. The Savior has already come to this world, they just don't know about this part of the "gospel" as they have been given it, thus far. I really don't want to create an "alternate Jesus" as it's far too intimidating for me :)

SonoranWriter
08-04-2006, 08:22 AM
Don't forget to have this Savior sacrifice himself to himself to save mankind from himself. ;)

bylinebree
08-05-2006, 03:35 AM
Ok...that is weird, Sonoran. Are we a bit sarcastic? Or just extremely confused?

The concept of a savior-figure runs deep in humanity. Look at any religion... Heck, look at the Matrix.

SonoranWriter
08-05-2006, 03:51 AM
I'm just summarizing the essential concept of Christian salvation with a catchphrase. How closely did you want to stick to Christianity with your fictional Savior idea? A Savior needs to "save", not just preach the Word like a regular rabbi.

Just throwing around ideas. What is it that your fantasy-world people need to be saved from? What got them into that position? In Christianity, God sacrificed himself (Jesus) to himself (God) to save men from himself (God's condemnation of all men for Adam's sin).

bylinebree
08-05-2006, 04:10 AM
Just throwing around ideas. What is it that your fantasy-world people need to be saved from? What got them into that position? In Christianity, God sacrificed himself (Jesus) to himself (God) to save men from himself (God's condemnation of all men for Adam's sin).


I love it, you make me smile! And also to think, which happens to hurt right now.

They need to be saved from an evil that wants to destroy them, from without (a false idol with demonic power) and within (not being able to redeem themselves).

God in the form of Jesus, the Son, offered himself one time for everyone, but not TO "himself." To whom did he sacrifice himself? Good question...I hadn't analyzed it. But not to God the Father, who grieved and turned his face away from the cross, and made the sun disappear and the earth split open. Biblically an answer doesn't come to me just now but I'll search.

The most brilliant idea, I think, came from CS Lewis and his "Deep Magic of the world." It wasn't explained as a 'who' but as a universal law that both good and evil had to follow (Aslan at the Stone Table, for ex.).

More later, have to take a teenage kid shopping!

SeanDSchaffer
08-06-2006, 05:28 AM
I'm asking mostly from a fantasy genre point of view, but other ideas are welcome.

I'm wrestling with how to portray the Son of God in my sequel. The first book introduced the monotheistic idea of God to the kingdom, as contrasted with both idol-worshipping and humanism. Sort of a Judaic "Jehovah" concept, no savior showing up yet in their theology.

But I want him to -- I miss Jesus being in there! There is an ancient Scroll showing up, but no Messiah-Savior...and I'm really wanting to portray Jesus somehow.

I do introduce the ideas of blood-sacrifice and selfless, God-oriented love and service in the "new believers" in the kingdom. Also will introduce martyrdom and evangelism more in the second.


In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis presented a Savior figure in the form of a lion named Aslan. He made Aslan into a perfect individual, and he made him go through a sacrifice on an altar of stone, in which many of the tortures that Christ Himself went through, the lion also had to go through. Aslan even rose from the dead afterward, defeating the White Witch.

Maybe something to this effect would work in your own WIP. Giving not an 'Alternate Jesus' but perhaps a 'Parallel Jesus', one who suffers much like Jesus did and lived a life similar to what He had to live, may be of use to you.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your WIP.

bylinebree
08-11-2006, 01:05 AM
I don't want to create an "alternate Jesus" for this world. I just can't do that for some reason, perhaps because it's too personal for me. Lewis was brilliant but I don't have an Aslan-type Savior in mind.

Maybe it worked because Aslan was an animal, not another human archetype of Christ? I can see the absolute genius of the lion now, thinking about this!

I'd like to keep Jesus the same but with less specifics that tie him to the actual history. The missing piece of scroll tells them of a Savior, but they are originally seeking it due to thinking it contains the answer to breaking a curse over the ruling families of their land.

Nateskate
08-11-2006, 04:40 PM
This is a general answer for any who would write Christian fantasy

I'm not writing a "Christian Fantasy", so there is no "Savior" or "Gospel" in my story. Yet, it is profoundly spiritual in a similar way to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The Bible is about so many things, wisdom, the nature of the heart, fallen nature, the inner struggles, and primarily "Who is God and what does he want with us?"

I understand that you love Jesus so much you want to tell the world in your story. If you are starting out, then my suggestion is to learn from Jesus. Jesus didn't jump in people's faces and say, "Accept me as your personal savior...or you'll go to hell..." Instead he was a real person who never compromised his values. He loved people, mingled with people, which meant he was very gentle and not pushy. Children loved him, and "sinners" hung around him.

Christian fantasy doesn't have to be "in your face" to make a point. Jesus gave his own disciples ample time to view him, listen to him, hear what he was about, before he asked, "Who do you say that I am?"

Jesus didn't try to capsulize the Gospel into a formulaic "lead me to an altar call" scenario. He used stories to illustrate the basic dynamics of the kingdom of God. "The kingdom of heaven is like... "bread"..."a mustard seed"..."when a nobleman goes away..."

Jesus used word pictures to convey the many sides of the kingdom of God. And so instead of looking at "The four spiritual laws" approach, which I think of as a sales pitch, rather than letting people see what you are about, what Jesus is about, which is really what the Gospel is about.

If you get what Jesus was doing, he wasn't using "smack you over the head with blunt 2x4" sayings. Metaphor and allegory don't have to be blunt.

I'll be honest. Most Christian fantasy that I've read has been too trite, contrived, predictable. It sounds contrary to the reality of most people's lives as portrayed in scriptures and as lived in so many places in the world- real people suffering, doubting, falling. Paul spent the second half of his life in a prison, not victorious living. In the Old Testament, Daniel and Joseph were both elevated yet for all intents and purposes they died as slaves in a foriegn land. Most of the people mentioned in the Bible had flaws, including Peter and Paul.

I'm not sure what age group you are approaching, but I think "sophisticated" is the best way to go unless your goal is to pretty much sum up the Gospel for those who already know the Gospel. The world is very sophisticated these days.

Sorry for this over-long answer. But many people already know basic Christian sayings. If you look at non-Christian and even anti-Christian websites and threads, they can repeat the basic Gospel. They don't however comprehend these things very well, God's love, God's nature, what sin is at its core. They only hear it in theory, but not in a revelation- the (Ah ha!) moment when the lightbulb goes on.

I realize why when I see flame-boards where Christians and non-Christians get into cat fights. Too many Christians scarcely know these things, so they can't explain them. They are in, as the book of Hebrews says, stuck on the "elementary principles" or Christian elementary school. Any writer that wants to do something great that touches peoples lives, I think it has to be revelatory of the greater picture.

Jesus did came to reveal his Father, which was so much more than a formula for how to win the heaven lottery. His first teaching was about heart issues, values, attitudes, priorities- the Beatitudes.

bylinebree
08-14-2006, 09:07 AM
Nateskate - I absolutely agree with you in many of your comments. :hooray: My novel isn't written for the Christian market at all, but has our world-view in mind, and a life-giving kind of message. (Though I do hope C's will enjoy it also)

But it isn't all happy-hunky-dory and wrapped up, either. It doesn't have conventional sayings or Biblical quotes at all, or in-your-face stuff.

I do disagree with the idea that so many people already know -- it seems like so many have bits and pieces of the truth, or warped versions of who God is, or we assume they know; but they haven't heard the real thing from my perspective.

The more I think and work on Bk 2, the more I think I can't include an "alternate Savior" as a character. It looks like the IDEA of one will be integrated into several characters and how they act, sacrifice, or interact with other people in their world. I have yet to decide if this short-changes Jesus, or not.

As I said before, it was a relief when I realized I did NOT have to "tell the whole gospel" in allegory or another literary form; I can only tell the story of my heart as best as is possible.

As for being "in someone's face," it is not my style at all! In fact, any spiritual message is subtle and so much so, that I've worried it's not even coming across at times. Christian readers "get it" but now...

I would like to have the feedback of people who do NOT believe, to see what they'd say.
My next challenge...find several. Possibly offer bribes for them to read and be very honest with me