Felix Felicis and the Providence of God in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

As a Bible and theology professor, I receive a lot of questions. And over time, I find that certain questions perplex and gnaw at students more often than others. Likely one of the most frequent questions (and also most urgent) I have received from students relates to the way in which the Bible affirms both divine sovereignty and human freedom. Many students feel the tension … Continue reading Felix Felicis and the Providence of God in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion: Obedience Clouded by Culture and the Importance of Memory for Virtuous Living in The Silver Chair (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Have you ever found yourself in a moment, having just sinned, and you can’t explain for the life of you why you have just done what you did? I know I have. In fact, most sin in my life is of this kind. I don’t want to sin, and yet sin continues to wage war against me and I sometimes lose that battle. I know … Continue reading Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion: Obedience Clouded by Culture and the Importance of Memory for Virtuous Living in The Silver Chair (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Follow the Leader, Even When He’s Invisible: Discipleship in Prince Caspian (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

I sometimes wonder how I would have responded if Jesus had walked up near my fishing boat and said “Follow me.” Our willingness to follow anyone is mostly dependent on who we believe them to be and whether or not they are worth following. When it comes to Jesus, the depth of our commitment, the strength of our courage, and the sincerity of our love … Continue reading Follow the Leader, Even When He’s Invisible: Discipleship in Prince Caspian (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

Bent Out of Shape: The Nature of Sin in Out of the Silent Planet (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

 I have found in my experience that most people, even unbelievers, are fine with admitting they are sinners (though they disagree on what constitutes sin), but few really want to define what that means. I wouldn’t expect an unbeliever to understand the depths of sin, but I would hope that we as believers could do better. Often we can’t. Too often we view sin in … Continue reading Bent Out of Shape: The Nature of Sin in Out of the Silent Planet (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Of Dragons, Beastly Boys, and Other Sinners: Eustace and Repentance in Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

 I’m often confronted by a stark contrast between what the Bible says about repentance and faith and the way many in the church portray it. It’s not my goal to explain how we got to this place, but I suspect a large part of the problem arose out of what was a serious and faithful desire for evangelism. Much of the evangelistic strategy of the … Continue reading Of Dragons, Beastly Boys, and Other Sinners: Eustace and Repentance in Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Ugliest of Them All? True Self-Reflection in the Fight Against Sin in Till We Have Faces (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction)

Why is it that the rich have such a difficult time entering the kingdom of God? I think it’s because those who never lack never feel that they have a need. But of course, as creatures created for fellowship with God that has been fractured by sin, we all have a need; a deep, desperate need for God and His salvation through Jesus. But before … Continue reading Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Ugliest of Them All? True Self-Reflection in the Fight Against Sin in Till We Have Faces (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction)

Salvation through Suffering in The Man Who Was Thursday (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

 In Jesus’ well-known Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), Jesus tells his followers that they are blessed when others revile and persecute them in the name of Christ. The rest of the New Testament repeatedly affirms this reality. Paul says in 2 Timothy that all who aspire to live godly lives will face persecution. James says to count it as joy when we encounter various … Continue reading Salvation through Suffering in The Man Who Was Thursday (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Rejecting Cheap Imitations of Christ in The Last Battle (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

I once had an encounter with a street evangelist who told me that the only true Bible was the King James Version. After thirty minutes, despite him admitting that the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, I had made no progress in convincing him of the reliability of other translations. As I walked away, however, he not only accused me of reading the wrong … Continue reading Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Rejecting Cheap Imitations of Christ in The Last Battle (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Cabbage Hat Christians (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

There once was a man named Colonel Crane, and as his title may suggest, he was well respected in his community. He was well known and he could walk around in his hometown and people would see him and greet him. For a middle-aged man he was considered handsome and was widely regarded as a likeable man. This was the story of Colonel Crane, until … Continue reading Cabbage Hat Christians (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

You Can’t Handle the Truth: Susan and Suppressing the Truth in Unrighteousness in The Last Battle (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

One of the more emotional and heart-wrenching exchanges in the Chronicles of Narnia comes near the end of The Last Battle. King Tirian is desperately fighting against the deceptive ape, Shift, who has convinced much of Narnia that Aslan and Tash are the same. The deception has brought utter chaos to Narnia and Tirian finds himself uncertain how he can turn the tide. In the … Continue reading You Can’t Handle the Truth: Susan and Suppressing the Truth in Unrighteousness in The Last Battle (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

Failure is Not an Option, but It Does Have Consequences (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

Failure is Not an Option, but It Does Have Consequences: Eragon’s Blessing and the High Call of Christian Leaders in the Inheritance Saga Near the end of Eragon, (Book 1 of the Inheritance Saga), a woman brings a young girl named Elva to Eragon that he might bless her. Desiring to make the blessing meaningful, Eragon speaks in the ancient language as Saphira (his dragon) touches … Continue reading Failure is Not an Option, but It Does Have Consequences (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

My Mental Attic (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

My Mental Attic: Christian Vocation in A Study in Scarlet Besides having memorable characters that have seen numerous television and movie portrayals in recent years, the quality of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works also stands out through the thinking that comes through his characters. Several times in conversations throughout these stories I have been forced to stop the story to think about the depth of what … Continue reading My Mental Attic (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)