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The Most Challenging Objections to Story Violence

“If you make life too antiseptic, you discredit how difficult it is to be faithful.”
E. Stephen Burnett | Mar 5, 2019 | No comments

While I’m preparing for Fort Worth’s Great Homeschool Convention, enjoy this excerpt from the spring 2018 issue of Lorehaven Magazine.

3. What is the most challenging objection to story violence you’ve heard?

Andrew Winch: “You’re gonna make somebody stumble” (Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 8–10). Stories are very tricky. Because whose hands are they going into?

“You ought to read a story you’ve researched and are sure you’re ready to read.”
— Andrew Winch

But you ought to read a story you’ve researched and are sure you’re ready to read. You don’t just pick up a book and start reading. Same thing with a movie. Someone will look at a movie and say, “This probably isn’t something that’s good for my heart. I shouldn’t watch this.” They shouldn’t just say, “Oh, this got great reviews, I’m going to watch this.” They’re being irresponsible as a consumer and as a creator. In that respect, I think the burden falls on the person consuming more than the person creating.

Travis Perry: I’m going to disagree with you a little bit. I think authors should ask: what will somebody think you approve of, by what you portray?

Similarly, I feel responsible as a soldier, because people think I know what war is like, and I think I do know what war is like. And I think that I am therefore obliged to portray it in a certain way, and I can’t just portray it in a way that I think is fun.

That’s not so much really the classic stumbling-block objection. But I don’t want people to think that I approve of something that I don’t. That, I think, is an important factor.

E. Stephen Burnett: The apostle Paul says, “Do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil” (Rom. 14:16). That’s a good principle to keep in mind.

“If you make life too antiseptic, you discredit how difficult it is to be faithful.”
— Carla Cook Hoch

Carla Cook Hoch: The objection I’ve gotten is, “Well what does light have to do with darkness?”

Here’s the thing: if you make life too antiseptic, you discredit how difficult it is to be faithful. You do a disservice to everyone who works very hard every day to be the person that God wants you to be, and let the Holy Spirit work in their life.

Read all of Lorehaven Magazine’s spring 2018 issue free online, or download the PDF!

You can also subscribe and get access to every issue for free.

Lorehaven serves Christian fans by finding biblical truth in fantastic stories. Book clubs, free webzines, and a web-based community offer flash reviews, articles, and news about Christian fantasy, science fiction, and other fantastical genres.

E. Stephen Burnett explores biblical truth and fantastic stories as editor in chief of Lorehaven Magazine and writer at Speculative Faith. He has also written for Christianity Today and Christ and Pop Culture. He and his wife, Lacy, live in the Austin area and serve as members of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

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