1. Travis Perry says:

    My friend, while I agree Christians really should understand genre conventions before lanching into sharp criticism of an exemplar of a genre, I feel an objection rather against my will rising verses your approach to this topic.

    The idea that stories are a part of culture and creating culture is a Biblical mandate in and of itself fails to account for the villian here (something a superhero story, ironically, would not fail to do). Who is Satan! Why no, the Evil One is not a figment of a Pentecostal’s or Fundamentalist’s imagination (nor mine). He is far more real than Thanos and he really, no kidding, tries to corrupt what is good in humanity and human arts.

    That means an artistic creation cannot be presumed to be good simply because someone created it and its part of human culture. In fact, those considerations prove to be nearly (not totally but very close to) meaningless.

    A Christian has a legitimate right to ask if a story reflects genuine truth, beauty, and goodness. If a story glorifies evil instead of condemning it. To include wondering if gender is well-represented in fiction.

    Please don’t mistake my comment as a defense of the Christian writer you referenced. I haven’t read his piece. And I doubt I will.

    My point is pointed directly at your thought process, my friend. Ok, stories are part of culture and making culture is good. Cool–but that has no bearing on whether or not a particular story has been corrupted, our good salad from the Garden of God dressed with arsenic paste.

    Don’t through out true discernment with the bathwater of judging a story for reasons that make no sense. Please.

    • I’m in full agreement with your caution there, especially because I’ve seen plenty of Christian thinkers who believe they need only say “popular culture was originally good!” One must get to saying “there is plenty of bad” eventually. My point is that emphasizing only the bad, or presuming the bad, puts the cart before the horse. Just as we first talk about humans’ goodness, and then fallenness, and then creation’s goodness, and then fallenness, so we talk about human culture (in creation’s) goodness, and then fallenness. But even the fallenness is permeated with what theologians call “common grace,” God’s preserving influence so that we’re not nearly as terrible as we could be, and have no excuse to say we didn’t see anything in our lives that helped us to understand the self-revealing goodness of God.

      Although, I would tend to emphasize the fact that humans corrupt things (thanks in part to Satan’s involvement in Gen. 3) before I start talking about Satan’s intentional corruption. Satan’s greatest achievement is setting off humanity on its own self-worshiping project.

  2. notleia says:

    I don’t know if it’s about what he thinks genre is for, or just what he thinks women are for, which seems to be that we’re set dressing for the fantasies he has about himself.

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