The Awesome Power of Amazing Fantasy in Constructing a Christian Worldview

I recently finished an amazing book. The Kings Hand by Anna Thayer is the second book in a fantasy trilogy- The Knights of Eldaran. These books are published by a Christian publisher- Kregel- but there is no mention of God anywhere in them.

Despite this, my Christian worldview has been encouraged and strengthened and inspired by this book- and the first in the series, The Traitor’s Heir. If you aren’t a fan of the fantasy genre, you may not understand.

I know that there are some people who think that reading fantasy is just a waste of time. And some Christians avoid it because of the issue of magic. I’m not here to change your conviction. But it’s my personal experience that I’ve experienced deep periods of personal, spiritual growth reading fantasy novels. (And I do know all books labeled “fantasy” aren’t created equal.) But, here’s why I think that fantasy has strengthened my Christian worldview and why I love introducing my children to amazing, powerful fantasies.

Fantasy and a Christian worldview

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Fantasy acknowledges the struggle of good and evil.

We don’t have to teach our children that evil exists in the world. It’s something that, unfortunately, they will encounter for themselves- no matter how sheltered we may try to make them. Evil does exist. And from the Bible, we know that there will always be an epic struggle between good (God) and evil (Satan). But, from the Bible we also know that good (God) will ultimately win. And that’s what happens in a good fantasy novel.

In fantasy readers have the opportunity to deal with the struggle of good and evil- with the fear, the pain, the sadness, the difficulty. And this in some way, helps us to deal with those emotions in our real life struggles. One of my favorite quotes ever on the subject is from G.K. Chesterton: “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

Fantasy inspires us with heroes who conquer evil.

Real life can be hard. Sometimes we face daily challenges to our faith. And sometimes, when we view the horrible things that happen in the world, it seems evil has already won. It’s hard to find the strength to keep fighting because it almost seems pointless.

Amazing fantasy stories give us amazing heroes- heroes who ride in on white horses and save the day, heroes who defeat dragons with their bare hands, heroes who face the greatest evil and don’t step down. We need those heroes in that day to day struggle. More importantly, we need to know that we can be those heroes. We can stand strong, despite adversity. And in a truly great fantasy novel, it’s clear that the hero’s strength isn’t coming from inside himself but from that ultimate Good that is worth fighting for.

Fantasy can reveal truths that are sometimes difficult to hear.

An author can write a nonfiction Christian living book about the importance of some area of the Christian walk. The author may be very direct and may preach his message loud and clear.That book may appeal to some people. And a few people may experience real change in their lives as a result of reading the book. But some readers will turn away, not wanting the message to be “shoved down their throats.”

But an amazing fantasy book can lead you to the truth through the winding path of an excellent story. And then, when you come face to face with the truth, there is an “aha” moment. And instead of turning away because of the bluntness of the message, the reader is left to be in wonder at this truth that has just turned up, that has just struck her clearly. Fantasy can reveal these truths about God, about the world we live in, and about us and how we choose to live in the world.

And that’s why I love fantasy books- well-written, truly amazing fantasy books. That’s also why I love to introduce my kids to awesome fantasy reads by reading them aloud. Then we have the opportunity to share these discoveries, to discuss them, and to share the truth we hear.

Not all fantasy books are created equal. There are some in the genre that tend toward the dark, that don’t celebrate good and light. Here are just a few of the ones I’ve found to be powerful for good.

The Knights of Eldaran trilogy

The Chronicles of Narnia

Lord of the Rings

Tales of the Kingdom

The Green Ember

The Dragon King Collection

C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy

 A Wrinkle in Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle

Those are just a few of my favorites. Do you have favorite fantasy reads? Let me know in the comments. And link up any reading related posts below- your current booklist, book related activities- I love to read them all!

Fantasy books and a Christian worldview

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