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53 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
65. Why Do Homeschool Families Love Christian-Made Fantastical Fiction?
At the traveling Realm Makers Bookstore, homeschool families love to find Christian-made fantastical fiction. What can they teach us?
66 minutes | May 25, 2021
64. Should Christians ‘Mask Up’ or ‘Get Vaccines’ to Prevent Fiction Infections?
Viruses, masks, and vaccines act out a parable for sin, the law, and grace, so let's not confuse secular symbols for religious realities.
71 minutes | May 18, 2021
63. Did God Create Aliens and Would Jesus Need to Save Them?
If God created life on other planets, would Scripture support these creatures being sentient, good, evil, or in need of redemption?
61 minutes | May 11, 2021
62. How Can Christian Fans Share Great Stories Without Becoming ‘Support Zombies’?
How can Christian fans avoid shuffling along with subculture herds, even while we share the Christian-made stories we enjoy?
47 minutes | May 4, 2021
61. How Does Edgier Science Fiction Challenge Christian Readers? | with Kerry Nietz
Christian-made sci-fi tends toward the softer side, leaving an opening for more complex futuristic tales that engage with controversial themes.
52 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
60. Why Don’t Real Researchers Heed Sci-Fi Warnings Against Mad Science?
Why do our scientists get so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they don't stop to hear secular fiction's dire forecasts?
65 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
59. How Can Christian Fans Respond to Preachy Secular Fiction?
When stories lose the plot and just want to give you a religious lecture, should Christians get mad or else gently scoff in amusement?
87 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
58. How Did We Enjoy the Heroic Majesty of ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’?
Sci-fi novelist Kerry Nietz and Lorehaven review chief Austin Gunderson join our heroic team to explore the long-awaited super-film Zack Snyder's Justice League.
78 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
57. How Do Stories Help Us Imagine Suffering and the Hope of Resurrection? | Epic Resurrection, part 4
We explore how the Gospel and similar reflections in fantastic stories help us prepare for times of suffering, death, and resurrection.
58 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
56. Which Biblical Qualities Empower Strong Female Characters? | with Elisabeth Wheatley
Physical combat is often the defining feature of strength, but female characters needn’t be boxed into stereotypes to be considered strong.
68 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
55. Should Christians Embrace Cultural and Digital Enclaves? | with Austin Gunderson
Christians fleeing Cancel Culture should consider becoming “Amish Cyberpunks” and build cutting-edge digital enclaves.
44 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
54. How Can Christian Fans React When Fantasy Creators Get Cancelled? part 2
How can Christians react to possibly necessary "cancellations" of badly behaving fantasy creators?
59 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
53. How Can Christian Fans React When Fantasy Creators Get Cancelled? Part 1
Can you avoid "cancel culture" by apologizing? How can Christian fans respond to "cancellations" and enjoy stories from sinful creators?
80 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
52. Do Christians Really Need Science Fiction? | Fiction’s Chief End, part 3
Christians need science fiction to fulfill the Cultural Mandate, build bridges with our neighbors, and anticipate a future world of sci-fi wonders.
60 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
51. Do Christians Really Need Fantasy? | Fiction’s Chief End, part 2
Christians need fantastical imagination to believe in God and the gospel, train to be like Jesus, and engage our world and neighbors.
68 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
50. Do Christians Really Need Fiction? | Fiction’s Chief End, part 1
Fiction isn't just optional for Christian readers, but a God-given gift we actually need to grow as redeemed people.
63 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
49. How Can We ‘Terraform’ the Church to Enjoy Fantastic Fiction?
We can't expect "chosen one" authors to save Christian-made fiction overnight, so instead, let's slowly transform our "deserts" into habitable kingdoms.
67 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
48. What Were the Top Seven Issues for Lorehaven Readers in 2020?
From little space babies eating tadpoles, to that Jesus TV show, to not-quite-forgotten trends, we're exploring 2020's top issues at Lorehaven.com.
62 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
47. Why Do Some People Long for Escape to a Galactic Community?
Will this be the year we finally get to see the aliens? Are we living in an alien invasion movie? According to headlines, it depends on whether a supposed Galactic Federation decides we are worthy. These ideas and questions are coming at us at light speed, and they often bring along competing mythologies. So as Christians, we should think through how to respond. More importantly, we should dwell on why these questions come up at all. Why do alien stories fascinate us? We’ll explore that, today. Zackary Russell’s introduction Since Election Day, our country has debated what we think Trump should or should not do. Meanwhile, I’m hoping that before he leaves office, he will release the Roswell files! You might be wondering: why are we talking about this topic? Surely we should talk about something more important. Well, yes, we sometimes discuss the big headlines as they relate to our main topics of books, pop culture, and Christian imagination. But we figure if you want your political news, you’ve got places you can find that. There’s another reason, too, that we talk about things like pop culture and sci-fi books: culture outlasts politics. The headlines of today / this week / this year will quickly replaced. But the culture we create will last for generations. So, while it would be easy for us to turn on the news and give our opinions, we want to invest our time in something else. Sponsor: Azalea Dabill’s Fantastic Journey The secret of imaginative fiction is vital to our souls. If we do not dream, if we do not imagine, we begin to die. Explore Fantastic Journey: The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure, a nonfiction book about fantastical fiction. This fantasy genres guide quotes 70 authors who whirl the reader on a fantastic journey into the imaginative realm of magic and meaning. A smart, concise, thoughtful look at how imaginative fiction impacts readers on three levels: The spiritual arena The wide world of ideas And the sphere we breathe in But the secret lies farther within. Meaning is the soul of every adventure, its central reality. The reality of every book impacts us on every level. There is deep spiritual meaning in fiction. If a book’s dark soul is a false gem brought up from the sea of fantasy we see shades of human evil and shudder, tossing that book back into the waves it came from. If our jewel of fiction glitters unrealistically bright—without a care—we shrug and say, “meh,” and the fate of that soul, pages fluttering in the wind, is to lie forgotten. But if that story draws light to battle darkness, if its soul mirrors our lives and calls us to the adventure of truth, the joys of mystery, and the beauties of brave action—then we have won a precious jewel drawn from the sea. The ocean of fantasy is not without its dangers. Wherever there is wealth, there is risk. We must choose. How do you tell if a book of speculative fiction is dark glass cunningly cut to resemble a jewel? How do you choose gems of fantasy and not counterfeit riches? Where can you discover the best imaginative fiction for yourself, your children and your friends, teens to adults? Discover the elusive secret of imaginative fiction in Fantastic Journey: The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure. (Artist’s recreation of a UFO encountered by the US Navy; image by Dave Beaty of The Nimitz Encounters.) Overview We’ll cover some revelations of a supposed Galactic Federation. The stories that shape our analysis and response of alien headlines. Why this topic is so compelling and immediately grabs headlines. For background, listen to our episode 22: How do Christians Discern UFO Accounts in Light of Scripture? You may also appreciate this episode about UFOs, featuring Colin Samul on The Pop Culture Coram Deo podcast. 1. Traces of the galactic community Many UFO headlines have been published since we last explored this topic. The Galactic Federation revealed (or not) Trump was going to reveal it all. But also, Trump’s tweet from 2014: “I hope we never find life on another planet because if we do there’s no doubt that the United States will start sending them money!” Obama knows something The triangle UAP – The Debrief Unidentified Submersible Phenomena (USOs) captured by the Navy The UAPTF 180-day report Proxima Centauri signal Oumuamua Jacques Vallee and James Fox on Joe Rogan Tom Delonge & The UFO Phenomena | Cultish 2. How alien stories shape us The way we respond to these stories is heavily influenced by the stories we consume and the stories we tell ourselves. Pop culture: breakdown into three categories. Friendly, Hostile, Ambivalent. History: explorers and invaders Cynicism: “Of course they’re lying to us. Therefore aliens.” Insignificance: “Of course there’s aliens because we’re nothing special.” Specialness: Sekret Machines books. Of course, the Bible itself is a story that informs our views. But, reading the same Bible, Stephen and I come to different conclusions about what UFOs could be (or couldn’t be). 3. Why many people can’t look away from alien accounts When the galactic federation article dropped, it took over the top two spots in Trending on Twitter. I saw people responding to that article that never comment on this subject. It gets people talking. But why? It goes beyond the topic becoming more “mainstream.” Deep longing in us for “a better country” (Hebrews 11). Maybe there’s somewhere better to live. True: New Heavens and New Earth. Someone will save us, give us all the answers, solve all our problems. Or try to kill us (which makes us pay close attention). Frankly, a lot of conspiracy theories boil down to one or both of these. Echoes of Revelation. “Humans are the worst.” Half right. Sin is a humanly unsolvable problem. Next on Fantastical Truth Now that we’ve entered Fantastical Truth’s 2021 season, we’ll look back at the top 2020 articles and issues of interest to Christian fans.
75 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
46. Ten Years Later, Why Did ‘Dawn Treader’ Sink the Narnia Movies? | with Rilian of NarniaWeb
Want to feel old at Christmas? The first Narnia film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, released in 2005 and is now fifteen years old. Five years later, the third Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, released in 2010, so it’s now ten years old. Let’s explore these films’ successes and failures, as we’re joined by a special guest and “prince” of Narnia here on Fantastical Truth. Introducing ‘Rilian’ of NarniaWeb Rilian started a podcast called “Narnia News and Notes” This became the NarniaWeb.com podcast, and it’s now called Talking Beasts. The twice-monthly podcast explores Narnia books and films. It’s even featured actors from the film series. “Of course he isn’t safe. But he is good.” 1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) Walden Media produced, Disney distributed Released in the U. S. on Dec. 9, 2005 Budget: about $180 million Earned: about $745 million We share our memories of the film’s anticipation We share our initial and current response to the film Briefly we also mention Prince Caspian (2008) C. S. Lewis himself expressed his feelings about adapting Narnia for a visual medium. From Lewis’s letter to Lance Sieveking in 1959: But I am absolutely opposed—adamant isn’t in it!—to a TV version. Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. At least, with photography. Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) wd. be another matter. A human, pantomime, Aslan wd. be to me blasphemy. From Lewis’s letter to Jane Douglass in 1954: Aslan is a divine figure, and anything remotely approaching the comic (above all anything in the Disney line) would be to me simple blasphemy. 2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) Walden Media produced, 20th Century Fox distributed (Now that Disney has bought Fox, this film is also owned by Disney.) Released in the U. S. on Dec. 10, 2010 Budget: about $140–$155 million Earned: about $415 million We share our memories of the film’s anticipation We share our initial and current response to the film Caution: we’re a bit negative, especially about the humanistic hints in earlier films that flourish into non-book themes here. 3. What’s next for Narnia? We lament the current limbo of further (and faithful) Narnia film adaptations. Yes, Netflix technically has the rights to remake the series, and we express cautious pessimism. Briefly we explore the pros and cons of making Narnia movies versus making Narnia miniseries, for certain books. Stranger Than Fantastical Fiction “Japanese Police Panel Proposes Crossbow Permits To Prevent Crimes,” The Daily Caller, Dec. 17, 2020 This isn’t for a citizen vigilante force. There was apparently a crossbow attack in Hyogo province, back in June, that injured and killed four people. So this is about preventing future crossbow attacks. Apparently there have been other crossbow attacks in recent years in other countries. Is there a crossbow villain out there somewhere? At any rate, the Japanese police want to limit crossbow usage to ” animal anesthesia, academic research or sports.” Perhaps next we will see a Japanese, crossbow equivalent to the NRA? I can already see the bumper stickers. Next on Fantastical Truth Announcement: this episode is our last regular episode of this year. Next year brings great topics, including many we couldn’t explore this year! Well-wishes, merry Christmas, happy new year, further up and further in, etc.
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