Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Is There Truth in Fiction?

http://www.amazon.com/Brenda-L.-Harper/e/B00NFV5I94/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1419277474&sr=1-1

This is one of the more interesting premises for a series I have run across in some time.  Set in a post-apocalyptic time it follows the story of a young girl who never knew she was anything but ordinary… come to find out she’s the savior of them all.

So, why did I say interesting premises when the previous sentence could have easily been about Katniss Everdeen? (read my thoughts on the Hunger Games {HERE} & {HERE})  Because this story poses a completely different question:  what if angels were jealous of humans because we have free will and they don’t?  What if they had just enough free will to do something about it?  And what if it caused the end of the world as we know it?

See this apocalypse was caused by 2 things: stupid humans and jealous angels.  So the story goes that humans had become so materialistic and greedy that they started the apocalyptic war.  (This is preached again and again… materialism is bad.  I agree with the sentiment, but I don’t like being preached at by a fictional book.)  As the war raged on apparently some of the angels got fed up and decided to just step in and end it for the humans.  These angels had been sent down to protect the humans but at some point changed their minds and decided to follow Luc in his desire to rid the earth of humans and return it to a paradise.  After all, it was originally intended for the angels to inhabit.  His plan failed ultimately because humans are more tenacious and resilient than he gave them credit for.  (BTW- Luc is what this angel is called throughout the book but at one point it is explained that his name has been shortened… from Lucifer which is another name for Satan – begin to make sense?)

SO… as always, what can we learn (besides the fact that materialism is evil)?  It’s pretty obvious to those with even a small amount of Biblical knowledge that this is fantasy.  There are many things that contradict the Bible… like the fact that Lucifer was originally punished by being forced to protect and care for humans – I don’t think there are many people who would look at Satan (with or without Biblical understanding) and claim him as their protector.  I suppose there might be someone from a particular sect of the occult, who perhaps thinks that way, but let’s assume that’s not who we’re discussing.  Anyhow, despite all this there are things in this book that are Biblically accurate.  

At one point an angel explains to Dylan (the young girl who has discovered she is more than ordinary) that there was a time in history where God sent His Son to earth to try and show people His will for their lives.  Of course this is followed by the assumption that Dylan is the “second coming.”  While it might be assumed that as a Christian I would applaud the fact that Harper included a version of the salvation story (albeit watery) I would have to argue that the best way to confuse someone not solid in their beliefs is to present the truth and mix in lies.  Because of this, I can’t claim that I’m really happy about her adding this… especially when the concept of God in general has been previously introduced as a myth that people believed long ago.

Of course there are many people who also claim that as a Christian, I shouldn’t even read things that give unrealistic views of God and angels.  My beliefs on this are simply that I am solid in my beliefs and therefore I am not likely to be swayed by the fantasy that I read.  And, more importantly, by reading these books and exposing the lies in them I can perhaps stir someone else to either a) choose another book,  b) do their own study on the issues addressed or c) discuss these things with someone wiser than themselves to gain more insight.  I don’t see how something that excites a want of true understanding and spurs someone to study the Bible can ever be a bad thing.

In conclusion, are the books worth reading?  Yes and no.  If you know you are firm in what you believe and want some fantasy, sure… they’re an ok read.  If you are interested in learning more about angels and are willing to do some study to compare these books to the Biblical accounts of angels… sure.  BUT if you are looking for something to help you understand angels and intend to take what you read as truth… look elsewhere.

STUDY NOTES:  If you intend to compare this book to the Bible, look to these facts about angels.       
     1.  To see how Lucifer was cast out of heaven see Isaiah 14:12-22 (in 
                 the old King James Version of the Bible it uses the name “Lucifer” 
                 but more recent translations use the meaning of his name 
                  “Star of the Morning”)
                    2.  When it uses the term “…said in your heart…” this denotes at least 
                 some form of free will in Satan.  He was at one time something 
                 beautiful but he CHOSE to make himself an enemy of God.
           3.  Satan disguises himself as an angel of light: 2 Corinthians 11:14  
                 (this doesn’t make him one)
           4. The book supposes many times that the angels here on earth are
                outside of God’s control and for God to judge them they must be 
                “dispatched” back to heaven… however if you read Job 1:6-12 
                and 2:1-6 you can see that even Satan himself has to go before 
                God to ask permission to harm a human.  There is no being 
                anywhere in the universe outside of God’s control.

I’m sure there are many more, but these are what came to mind.

Bible study over :-)

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