The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. The old myth of the Dying God, without ceasing to be myth, comes down from the heaven of legend and imagination to the earth of history.
C.S. Lewis (God in the Dock)
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Prince Hamlet (Shakespeare)
More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.
King Arthur to Sir Bedivere (Tennyson)
Once upon a Christmas, many years ago, my sister and I awoke to discover the horns snapped off of every single one of our unicorn sugar cookies. Eviscerated from the mythic, the creatures had been downgraded into mundane horses â€“ with slightly dented forelocks. Despite the remaining coloured icing and sparkling sugar, the magic was gone â€“ not just from the unicorns, but somehow from the bell and star and angel cookies too. And we were righteously indignant.
But more than that, we were scornful. That the offending relative might have such a fear of faerie that she felt the need to purge our cookie tray of this perceived evil was issue enough. But to take offense at a standard medieval and renaissance symbol for Christ indicated a glaring gap in her education of Christian art and literature. (And didnâ€™t she know that the word unicorn even appears in the King James Bible â€“ nine times over, no less?)
Our youthful scorn of such historically amnesic Christianity was more than a little unfair. We were still young enough to be unaware just how limited North American Christianity â€“ Protestant, in particular â€“ generally is in its self-knowledge. (It may not advocate volitional amnesia in individuals, but institutional amnesia is all too rife.) Our pomposity was born of our own ignorance â€“ and, we were yet unaware of all our own cultural blinkers on plenty of other matters of faith and practice.
But in this specific area â€“ Christian literary symbolism â€“ we were certainly the â€˜luckyâ€™ ones. Unlike that relative, weâ€™d been raised in such worlds as Narnia, Middle Earth, and Prydain. Worlds infused with Scripture, yet entirely fantastical. Furthermore, weâ€™d also been shaped by writers such as Madeleine Lâ€™Engle, Robert Siegel, and Elizabeth Goudge: Christian writers who positively delighted in portraying this world as interwoven with fantastical ones (and who were thus able to show both the fantastical and the â€˜realisticâ€™ as imbued with mystery and beauty and truth). We had no idea then just how indebted we were to the fact that these writers had themselves been raised on George MacDonald, a story-lover and crafter whose writing helped to transmit the legacy of cultural fairy tales, ancient myths, historical adventures, and Biblical tales â€“ even stories from church history. (MacDonald was passionately intentional about this interweaving.)
One of the many gifts MacDonald had given to those â€˜Inklings-&-coâ€™ authors was to re-model for them, when they were still children, a Christian tradition of firm confidence in truth regardless of its medium. MacDonaldâ€™s writing prepared them for their later reading of such as Sidney and Spenser, Shakespeare and Dante, Mallory & Chaucer, the authors of Beowulf & Piers Plowman: writers firmly rooted in a Christian tradition that questioned neither the power of story, the veracity of the Gospel, nor the holy calling of being (in Tolkienâ€™s terminology) sub-creators â€“ storytellers ministering under the auspices of the Primary Author, whose Word had actually become flesh.
Through these Christian authors who deeply loved Story & Goodness and who understood their Christian vocation to be learning and engaging with the stories of goodness in authors before them â€“ and perhaps thus better understanding that Story Incarnate â€“ was retransmitted story & goodness to subsequent generations, in familiar themes, patterns, symbols, tropesâ€¦such as the Christological unicorn. These writers all participated in a legacy of loving not only their rich heritage of transmitting truth through story, but also of loving the ineffability of Godâ€™s glorious mystery. In their commitment to â€œhim who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagineâ€ (Eph 3:20), they (and in consequence, many of their readers down through the ages) had no fear of fiction-that-told-truths, nor of fiction and fact working in a truth-telling partnership.
For various reasons, in â€˜pre-Narnia & Middle Earth 20th century,â€™ there was somewhat of a fantastical literature gap. Not that there were no books recalling Christian readers to their centuries-long literary heritage, but they were not a strong cultural presence. Perhaps it is due to this gap that I know so many people the age of my parents who remain rather uncomfortable reading fantasy. Iâ€™m not talking about those who banned Narnia because it had unicorns and dragons (though I certainly went to school with some of their off-spring), or even those who banned Lâ€™Engle because she dared name Gandhi and Buddha as fighters for Light against the Dark (I still have friends who fall into that category) â€“ Iâ€™m talking about those who were just a little too old to have read Narnia or The Hobbit as children, but were quite happy for their own children to read those books â€“ because the books were written by Christians. People who may even have sort of enjoyed the overtly Christian Lewis (and possibly Tolkien), but found it difficult to venture any furtherâ€¦purportedly for matters of â€˜taste.â€™ I cannot but wonder if it is not more accurate to say â€œfor matters of cultural discomfort…â€
You see, my mother was not allowed to play cards or go to the cinema on Sundays as a child. (This is relevant!) As an adult, she felt there was absolutely nothing intrinsically wrong with either of those practices â€“ and yet she never felt completely at ease doing them herself. I have met so many peers who read Lewis and Tolkien as children and who still thoroughly enjoy fantasy literature â€“ amongst many other genres â€“ but whose parents â€˜just canâ€™t go there.â€™ And I canâ€™t but wonder if it is not for reasons similar to my motherâ€™s personal dis-ease with movies and cards on the Sabbath. 外汇交易平台 Because the reality is that many of my grandparentsâ€™ Christian peers would also have snapped off those unicorn horns, believing anything not factual to be â€˜bad.â€™ And although their children â€“ my parentsâ€™ peers â€“ may no longer believe that themselves, may even have begun to learn more about how fantasy and fairy tale and myth have often been considered partners with fact in truth-conveyance through the ages â€“ by the Church, by Christian writers, by general culture â€“ the residual dis-ease remains.
Which makes me wonder how many other â€˜culturalâ€™ issues are likewise affected.
It also makes me wonder why the fantasy-fearers act as if God is so vulnerable that the Divine, the Word, need their protectionâ€¦as if spiritual Truth was not strong enough to do what it needs to do without the assistance of human censorshipâ€¦. Certainly they cannot be so blinded as to think that soap operas, that reality TV and sitcoms and comic stand-ups, are somehow intrinsically more wholesome, or safer??
is there not something perplexinglyÂ similar between those conservative Christians who condemnÂ fantasy literature and those liberal Christians who claim the resurrection never happened? Â In my personal experience with friends in these camps, both seem fearful of the inexplicable, and both often lack much knowledge of (or even scorn) Christian art and literature post New Testament and pre-20th centuryâ€¦
Because of Lewis & Tolkien, Lâ€™Engle & Alexander, MacDonald & Goudge, and their ilk, my siblings and I were equipped to see the goodness and beauty in fantastical worlds crafted even by those who did not share our faith: Ursula LeGuin, Susan Cooper, T.H. White, and so many other brilliant writers â€“ writers passionate about truth, about fighting subversive darkness, even if not convinced of the factuality of Gospel Truth. (And thanks to â€˜Inklings & their ilk,â€™ we were well-equipped to think through any dissent we might have with alternate world-views). Decades before the rise of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, to many children after the childhoods of my parentsâ€™ generation, the Inklings and their kindreds gave Christian readers permission to love mysterious Story again, to love truth regardless of its vestige. Such writers reintroduced them to their heritage of Christian literature and reminded them of the myriad of opportunities to learn more about Godâ€™s creations and how to delight in his mysteries â€“ and in the mysteries of his most bewildering of creations, Humans.
For many in my parentsâ€™ generation â€“ and others born later but similarly starved â€“
fantasy remains uncomfortable. But those who grew up in Narnia & Middle Earth & Prydain, can recognize in todayâ€™s pervasive cultural yearning for fantasy and myth an indication of a malaise if not incurred, at least well-assisted by the evisceration of Christian culture from its own mythic literature and art. A historically amnesic, and therefore anemic, Christianity.
Myth, religion, give voice to â€“ and inquire into â€“ the mysteries of who we are and why. They suggest that we â€“ and our Divine Source â€“ are somehow more than what we can assess. They hint at things we cannot see or explain, things that are beyond our kenâ€¦the unknown colour, the undiscovered dimension, the â€œmore than we can ask or imagineâ€â€¦ By Â valuing only the factual, we start to lose the tales that have shaped our own Christian identity. In becoming fearful of â€˜not factual myth,â€™ we begin to distrust story altogether. And thatâ€™s rather problematic for creations of the Primary Author.
EspeciallyÂ those who celebrateÂ Christmas and Easter.
viagra generic 200 cialis coupon cealis cialis pricing natural viagra ciprofloxacin 500 mg for urinary tract infection escitalopram 20 mg how does viagra work lexapro viagra dosage viagra ohne rezept auf rechnung what is azithromycin for common side effects of ciprofloxacin 500 mg levitra 20 mg precio farmacia levitra 20 mg cost walmart acyclovir ciprofloxacin eye drops levitra coupon finasteride 5 mg buy levitra online viagra natural cialis 20 mg side effects of finasteride 5mg cipro and tendonitis viagra effects viamedic cialis cialis free trial tamoxifen and bone pain ciprofloxacin nebenwirkungen finasteride side effects in men cialis 30 day trial coupon what is finasteride cialis prices is tamoxifen chemotherapy cipro for uti what is finasteride used for ciprofloxacin bnf where to buy viagra lexapro dosages azithromycin vs erythromycin vardenafil 20mg levitra cialis copay card ciprofloxacin spc cialis for daily use acyclovir dosage for cold sores azithromycin for pneumonia viagra for women lexapro dosage what is ciprofloxacin prescribed for ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets viagra generico ciprofloxacin 500 mg tabletten azithromycin medscape azithromycine eg 500 mg bijsluiter female viagra ciprofloxacin 500mg cheap levitra stopping lexapro side effects of lexapro what does ciprofloxacin treat ciprofloxacin 250 mg viagra tablet generic for lexapro lexapro bula utilisation viagra lexapro 20mg side effects of ciprofloxacin cyalis cialas how long does viagra last free viagra levitra rezeptfrei deutschland vardenafil vs viagra cialis online levitra vs viagra for hardness viagra soft cialis how to wean off lexapro what is ciprofloxacin acyclovir vs valacyclovir viagra wiki cialis professional how long for lexapro to work side effects of cialis lexapro weight gain tamoxifen and weight gain cost of cialis ciprofloxacin generic cialis tadalafil lexapro and weight gain in women lexapro vs wellbutrin lexapro and weight loss generic levitra cialis 20mg directions finasteride 1mg zovirax cipro dangers what is cialis cialis 10 mg what is azithromycin used for acyclovir dosing zovirax for cold sores levitra dosage viagra coupons levitra bayer 20mg meilleur prix cialis patent expiration date extended buy generic viagra side effects of azithromycin 250 mg lexapro 10 mg what is acyclovir for viagra samples post finasteride syndrome viagra substitute cialis website what infections does ciprofloxacin treat azithromycin pregnancy category lexapro and weight gain side effects of lexapro 10 mg viagra kaufen wellbutrin and lexapro acyclovir dosage cialis 30 day sample lexapro generic ciprofloxacin 500 cialis 5mg is lexapro a controlled substance canadian viagra wholesale cialis viagra medicine cilias lexapro reviews viagra nebenwirkungen buy viagra what bacteria does ciprofloxacin kill cipro antibiotics lexapro benefits for women generic viagra 100mg acyclovir for shingles what does azithromycin treat tamoxifen bijwerkingen levitra generic escitalopram 10 mg para que sirve viagra vs cialis ciprofloxacin dosierung lexapro side effects what is acyclovir cialis otc viagra tablets pfizer viagra coupons from pfizer escitalopram 10 mg side effects of lexapro in women viagra activate is azithromycin ciprofloxacin hcl how much does cialis cost cialis 5 mg finasteride efectos secundarios ciprofloxacin drops tamoxifen side effects in women side effects lexapro azithromycin uses azithromycin 500 mg cialis dosage strengths escitalopram viagra pillen kruidvat viagra online side effects of azithromycin buying viagra tamoxifen therapy buy cialis online finasteride 5mg viagra for sale uk cialis or viagra viagra sex viagra pills pfizer viagra ciprofloxacin 500mg antibiotics side effects acyclovir 200mg tamoxifen citrate what is azithromycin tamoxifen side effects in women over 55 first few days on lexapro discount cialis viagra without a doctor prescription cialis cheap withdrawal from lexapro cialis pills cialis coupons printable tamoxifen lawsuits lexapro withdrawal cialis for sale lexapro generic name levitra 20mg cialis coupon print finasteride medication nolvadex cialis trial what is lexapro for what does finasteride do acyclovir medication viagra costs ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution side effects of ciprofloxacin 500 mg lexapro 10mg cipro dosage herbal viagra liquid cialis zovirax cream azithromycin class azithromycin tablets cialis samples cialis for women cialis coupon 20 mg azithromycin for uti levitra coupons cialis for men what is viagra cialis voucher finasteride 5mg side effects finasteride effets secondaires azithromycin drug class cipro drug class sex viagra for women cialis 20mg lexapro withdrawal symptoms cialis coupons from manufacturer women viagra cipro 500 generic cialis finasteride cipro ciprofloxacin uses weaning off lexapro lexapro side effects men acyclovir side effects buy cialis tamoxifen nebenwirkungen azithromycin 500mg cialis dosage recommendations ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg tab ciprofloxacin used for cialis testimonials viagra canada what is cipro what is acyclovir used for generic viagra viagra 100mg how to wean off lexapro without withdrawals cialis generic availability propecia when will cialis go generic what is tamoxifen used for viagra ohne rezept aus deutschland free cialis viagra tesco side effects of viagra cialis patent expiration finasteride 5 mg tab price cialis antibiotic ciprofloxacin ciprofloxacin side effects after age 60 viagra cost lexapro coupons lexapro vs celexa escitalopram side effects how to use viagra zoloft vs lexapro levitra 10 mg prezzo viagra prices acyclovir 800mg levitra vs viagra lexapro for anxiety viagra on line no prec levitra erfahrungen viagra vs cialis vs levitra buy levitra tamoxifen langzeitfolgen finasteride vs dutasteride online cialis what is escitalopram canada cialis zithromax z-pak levitra without a doctor prescription cialis side effects side effects of tamoxifen ciprofloxacin 250mg best price viagra lexapro 5mg viagra receptfritt tamoxifen interaction discount viagra ciprofloxacin hydrochloride ophthalmic cialis savings card azithromycin 500 erfahrungen cialis alternative cialis dosage daily cialis viagra without a doctor prescription usa sophia viagra ciprofloxacin class generic lexapro cialis generic tadalafil viagra vs cialis acyclovir 800 mg for shingles cialis for bph what does ciprofloxacin 500mg treat levitra vs viagra acyclovir 800 mg ciprofloxacin 500mg antibiotics cialis on line azithromycin dosage cialis vs viagra cialis from canada tamoxifen and foods to avoid tamoxifen side effects acyclovir ointment 5 viagra cialis revatio vs viagra lexapro manufacturer website zithromax zovirax dosage lexapro side effects in women cheap cialis finasteride side effects azithromycin pediatric dosing zithromax 500 mg viagra vs cialis vs levitra azithromycin for strep throat ciprofloxacin for dogs effects of stopping lexapro suddenly how to get off lexapro viagra alternatives finasteride and enlarged prostate over the counter viagra escitalopram 10mg order viagra finasteride for hair loss lexapro dosing side effects of finasteride finasteride results propecia side effects azithromycine 250 mg cipro uses cialis 5mg daily canada viagra azithromycin azithromycin three times a week ciprofloxacin 500 mg cheap viagra cost of viagra zovirax pills viagra alternative viagra wikipedia finasteride permanent side effects escitalopram oxalate finasteride reviews viagra 100 mg ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg cialis effects cialis samples overnight azithromycin 250mg tablets 6 pack erectile dysfunction cialis azithromycin pregnancy acyclovir 800 mg 5 times a day cialis sample azithromycin 250 mg treatment acyclovir 400 mg ciprofloxacin side effects in women finasteride 5mg side effects mayo clinic viagra 50mg what is cipro used for viagra coupon escitalopram nebenwirkungen generic for cialis ciprofloxacin coverage buy viagra online how does acyclovir work celexa vs lexapro azithromycin eye drops cialis pharmacy prices levitra online finasteride tablets azithromycin cost cipro side effects generic cialis at walmart zovirax ointment cialis pills for sale what is ciprofloxacin used for ciprofloxacin drug class what works better than viagra cialis daily cialis reviews cialis without a doctor’s prescription how does lexapro work is ciprofloxacin a penicillin viagra viagra from canada what does viagra do acyclovir 400mg zithromax dosage zithromax antibiotic azithromycin z pak ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg side effects azithromycin liquid cialis generic levitra prices 9 levitra at walmart levitra prezzo in farmacia viagra bestellen online viagra viagra on line finasteride 5mg tab azithromycin and alcohol is azithromycin penicillin ciprofloxacin side effects azithromycine viagra pill levitra 20 mg von bayer azithromycin coverage viagra en ligne livraison 24h tamoxifen cost effects of stopping finasteride what is lexapro lexapro medication viagra for men cialis cost how to take cialis azithromycin 250 mg lowest cialis prices acyclovir dose viagra 100mg tablets retail price what is tamoxifen levitra 20mg cost per pill finasteride for women viagra side effects cialis canada azithromycin 500 viagra single packs canadian cialis viagra price levitra 20 mg ciprofloxacin hydrochloride viagra uk cialis discount azithromycin 250mg lexapro and wellbutrin combination therapy lexapro side effects in men finasteride hair loss ciprofloxacin dosage finasteride long term effects cialis medication lexapro vs zoloft azithromycin 250 lexapro overdose viagra sans ordonnance acyclovir ointment cialis coupons azithromycin tablet cialis patent expiration 2017 buy generic levitra side effects of acyclovir cialis canadian pharmacy how long for azithromycin to take effect equipe argentine viagra acyclovir cream thuoc azithromycin lexapro para que sirve acyclovir for cold sores cialis coupons 2017 ciprofloxacin dose viagra for sale what is cipro usually prescribed for cialis vs viagra cialis tadalafil cialis coupon finasteride dosage cipro antibiotic generic levitra vardenafil 20mg tamoxifen viagra 100 what is lexapro used for does lexapro cause weight gain azithromycin without a doctor’s prescription how does cialis work cialis price cipro side effects in elderly azithromycin 5 day dose pack escitalopram effets secondaires azithromycin side effects