November 14, 2013
Do current events ever make you feel like you’re trapped in a black-and-white French horror movie, and you don’t speak French? Or maybe you do, you can make out what they’re saying—“This city is going to crack down on Christians!”—and it still sounds like a foreign language.
You have to step back from it for a bit, don’t you?
I’ve recently finished writing a novel, “The Glass Bridge,” the seventh book in my “Bell Mountain” fantasy series. Book No. 6, “The Palace,” will probably go on sale sometime this winter. (For more information on my books, visit my blog, leeduigon.com, and click on “Books.”) It’s hard to stop writing about a world, albeit an imaginary one, that knows nothing of Obamacare, the IRS, the NSA, or “pride parades” to celebrate things that people ought to be ashamed of. When I’m there, I’m not here. Hopefully my readers feel the same.
But I don’t write fantasy only to escape from the darkness of this world. If that were all I meant to do, I’d just write comic books and my work wouldn’t be worth much.
No—in writing fantasy, I also seek a way to something better: a way out of the darkness, to the light.
“Bell Mountain” is the continuing story of individuals and nations finding their way back to the God who created them, and loves them. Over the centuries, they have let that connection lapse. They have preserved the outward forms of “religion” but lost the heart of it. They’ve piled up worldly riches, but are spiritually impoverished.
God has done something about that. He has shaken that world—shaken it so that the grand, imposing things that really mean nothing are now falling into pieces, so that the things that cannot be shaken will remain—so that the people can see what those things are, and know their value.
I write with a sense that our own world is being shaken, too. Can you read today’s headlines and think otherwise?
Fantasy can provide the reader—and the writer—with a new vantage point from which to see the world. When we stand here, we can see old things as if they were new, and new things as if they were old. I say “can” because a lot of fantasy won’t do this. It offers distraction, nothing more. At best it’s only wishful thinking.
That’s what I call comic-book fantasy. There’s a lot of it out there, much of it targeted for “Young adults.” Gee! What if I had super-powers? What if some immortal being fell in love with me, and we had fantastic sex? What if I could do “magic” to get anything I want?
I have kept all of this out of the “Bell Mountain” stories. The characters are stuck with being ordinary human beings with no magical abilities. Here God has all the power; and the greatest of those powers is God’s grace. Those who receive it find redemption. Individuals are redeemed, and nations. Sin fights powerfully against it, but the grace of God is stronger.
The Bible tells of times and places when all seemed lost beyond recovery. If the people living in those times had had the Internet, TV, and newspapers, they would have had nothing but bad news. The Babylonians are coming. The king has installed pagan idols in the Temple at Jerusalem. The people have come to believe that good is evil, and evil is good—a typical night’s viewing on MSNBC. The priests have grown corrupt, the prophets lie, the leaders of the nation prey on the people, and the people prey on each other. It’s not on CNN; it’s in the Bible.
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The Bible tells the true story of the real world—a story in which the grace of God will always triumph, no matter how powerfully the forces of evil exert themselves, no matter how proudly the servants of evil boast against the King of Kings. Here in that world, we’re still waiting for the glorious end of that story—and we have been given a glimpse of it in the closing chapters of the Book of Revelation.
In a small way—I dare pretend to nothing greater—my books seek to tell a little portion of that story. This is why it’s such a pleasure to me to write them. I hope it will be a pleasure to you to read them. To climb Bell Mountain was a hard and dangerous quest; but there was a reward waiting at the summit greater than the climbers could ever have imagined.
The world of day’s news is only part of the true story, and not even the part that really matters.
To see the whole, you have to find it in the Bible.
� 2013 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com
E-Mail: [email protected]