We are captivated by the supernatural. For decades, this generation has filled its bookshelves and the proverbial archives housed within our minds with stories of magic, angelic beings and dark creatures of the paranormal sub-culture. Yet, to our Christian movement, we have continually heard the arguments that the youth of this age find themselves uninterested in the ideas of miracles, a Deity and the life beyond this one.
We have been lulled into thinking that Millennials no longer wrestle with thoughts of the afterlife and a pervasive interest in things that are not so easily explained away by textbook science. This collapse in understanding has led to a surge of young adult fiction to populate our nation’s bookshelves, from vampire romance to the schools of witchcraft and wizardry. The youth of this generation has been continuously and mercilessly bombarded with the supernatural, so much so that they have been unable to cull its consumption in their daily lives. This is my case for the need of apostolic fiction.
Gone are the days we can rely upon the biblically founded fiction of C. S. Lewis and J. R. Tolkien with their subtle yet prevalent and evident ties to their religious belief systems. And while these many fictional tales remain upon the pedestal of classic fiction, the world ceases not to slow in its production of the next great supernatural tale containing little depth or life within its pages, instead only serving to promote a culture of easy-reading and even shallower understanding of literature and what potential the supernatural truly holds. This responsibility, the responsibility of creating great Christian foundational fiction rests solely upon our shoulders.
There is no shortage of inspiration within our movement, and everyday I am greeted by the insurmountable imagination that this generation holds within its young and growing minds. But for so long, we have been taught to fear what we do not understand and to put away anything that represents itself as a distraction to a very real relationship with God. This conviction has pushed this generation far from the pages of great books like the C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy or the collection of books within The Lord of the Rings, written by Tolkien, because we have been taught to fear what is contained within their pages as if they were comparable to the likes of Twilight. This mass-fiction boycott has chosen to ignore the Christian foundations of these great theologians and reduced their writings to moth fodder in the minds of many.
Time to Stand
So it is now more than ever that we must determine within ourselves to stand for apostolic fiction in novels and poetry. We are an ever-present light in a world of darkness that is searching for understanding within the unknown. We exist amongst a sea of young minds that are desperately yearning for an explanation to the things they do not yet comprehend, and it is with great Christian literature that we can begin to combat the culture of shallow and lazy writing. We have a responsibility to bridge the gap between the young minds of the lost and confused with biblical foundations and Christian motifs meant to drive them to their answer in their Lord and Creator, Jesus Christ.
There is a large gap to be filled, and as time progresses, the un-churched and confused will be pulled that much more in the direction of darkness perpetrated by our modern young-adult fiction. If we determine to let our imaginations grow as they are fueled by our Christian conversions and spiritual experiences, allowing our great writers to craft tales of supernatural awe and wonder, then there is no doubt that we will begin to bridge that spiritual gap. We can provide understanding and excitement to a world not simply interested in the supernatural, but craving understanding and their own personal experience with that supernatural lifestyle. We hold the answer for those that are searching; we must simply create more mediums by which to administer truth, and in it, the gospel of a God that transcends time and space merely to demonstrate His immeasurable love for His chosen children.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
E.M. Zenobia is the Student Editor for Word Aflame, The Discipleship Project as well as Link 247. He received his bachelor’s degree from Urshan College and also carries a degree from Saint Louis Christian College. Evan was most recently an administrator and student pastor in Washington, D.C. as well as a member of Apple retail for the last two years. He is a lover of all things C. S. Lewis and an avid fiction writer who thoroughly enjoys trail running and biking.