This month, the tour participants have highlighted numerous Christian fantasy favorites, several of which I have added to my reading list. Many paid tribute to Lewis and Tolkien, who have deeply impacted most fantasy readers/writers (myself included), while others have featured lesser known, but still worthy, books. If you haven’t visited some of the other tour stops yet, I encourage you to do so.
Now on to faith in Foundling. In an interview over at the Enchanted Inkpot
(which I highly recommend reading to learn more about the author and the series), DM Cornish shares a little about faith in his books, “I think that there can be a perhaps artificial notion that we ought to write what I think C.S. Lewis termed “nice Christian books.” I have certainly been asked more than once when I might write a proper “Christian” book, to which my answer is that I have written a Christian book – I am a Christian and I have written a book. There seems to me to also be a prevailing belief that God does not like us, that he wants us to be someone else, that he frowns on us and says not “good enough”, that we are supposed to write/create things . During the years of initial invention I laboured under the notion that the Lord disapproved of what I was doing, that my passion for it was what is (I believe erroneously) termed “idolatry.” Yet in the unfolding “accident” of my publisher discovering my ideas, of all the “accidents” that lead to this, I found the Lord saying that he very much approves of the Half-Continent and all its denizens.”
Certainly, in Foundling (I cannot speak to the others in the series as yet) there is no allegory, no direct mention of spirituality at all—it’s more like Middle Earth in that regard than Narnia. But the Christian worldview bleeds through in the structures of his world, the nature of his characters, and the themes he tackles.
Personally, I enjoy all ends of the spectrum of faith in fantasy, from allegory to symbolism to thematic material. Each story demands different treatment (look at Till We Have Faces versus The Chronicles of Narnia, both by Lewis), and all have value and impact.
In addition, I think Cornish touches on another important aspect of writing or any creative endeavor—God’s approval of our creativity. I would go a step further to say that God not only approves, but He delights in our creativity, the imagination that He placed in us put to work in a way that reflects Him. Certainly creativity can be misused and abused in such a manner that it fails to honor God, but in the life of a believer, one walking with the Spirit, our craftsmanship, creativity, and imagination are pleasing to Him. In fact, we’re being faithful to use the gifts he placed within us, rather than neglecting them. I’m most likely preaching to the choir, but I think it is so important to understand our creativity in relation to God and how it both honors and pleases Him.
So enjoy reading the many creative works shared by members of this tour!