Tuesday, October 28, 2008


We're reading through C.S. Lewis' Perelandra right now. I had assigned this book to my teenagers and discovered quickly that Lewis' writing style was too dense for them. So we switched to me reading it out loud while they draw cartoons. (This method lets me explain some of Lewis' ideas as well.)

Because it had been years since I read Perelandra, I qas reminded quickly of his complex writing style - and of the depth of his story.

Perelandra is science fiction, the story of two British professors who end up on Venus battling for the spiritual foundation of the emerging planet. Lewis has crafted a parallel story to Eve's temptation, where the Lady of Perelandra must decide whether to obey God (called Maleldil on Perelandra) or to take the path of martyrdom, choosing to sacrifice herself for the supposed good of her husband and children.

Of course, the evil tempter twists and weaves stories that sound wonderful while holding an ugly trap.

Our hero, Ransom, first battles verbally and, later, physically trying to maintain the Lady's innocence and God's plan for this new life.

What's fascinated us, as we read, is how Lewis understood so well all the human rationalizations for our decisions. How the tempter tried to deceive the Lady is how we have been deceived many times.

But Lewis always offers a twist, a fresh look at God's work.

My almost 13-year-old son would like to see more action in the story, although he's been riveted lately as Ransom pursues Weston across the floating island and onto the sea. Lewis couldn't resist philosophizing often, but the story is creative and opens the door to some fascinating discussions. It's a must-read.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Communicating to our youth

My 12-year-old son read The Lord of the Rings six times in one summer. He'd finish the story and start back in on page 1. He was drawn to the intrigue and adventure of that classic.

Jeff Gerke at Marcher Lord Press maintains that our youth are writing - and reading - fantasy. The way to communicate to them is through speculative fiction, although the mainstream Christian publishing houses don't always get that.

Hence, I appreciate Bryan Davis, who writes adventure and mind-bending fiction that appeals to the young reader. When they are bombarded by a culture eager to take them down divergent pathways, it is nice to place quality literature in their hands that does not cultivate corruption.

Check out Bryan Davis' latest adventure novel, Beyond the Reflection's End. You can see more info at Amazon and also at his website. Any fiction that communicates to young people is worth supporting.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bryan Davis: Beyond the Reflection's Edge

Isn't that an intriguing title: Beyond the Reflection's Edge? Davis has produced the Dragons in our Midst series for young adults, but his newest book is the first in a contemporary adventure series for young adults.

We'll take a further look at the book tomorrow but for now, check out the listing at Amazon.

Bryan Davis' website is here and his blog is here.

The Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy Blog Tour is featuring Bryan Davis' new book. Visit these participants for other comments:

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Rachel Marks
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Chawna Schroeder
Greg Slade
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Friday, October 17, 2008


Just bear with me on this one....

A Roman Catholic priest, a Pentecostal minister, and a Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. They got together 2-3 times a week for coffee and conversation.

One day, one of them said to the other two that preaching and serving the sacraments to human beings wasn't all that difficult. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear!

One thing led to another and the three of them agreed to do an experiment. They would go up in the Smokie mountains, find a bear, and attempt to convert him through preaching or the sacraments. They agreed to get back together seven days later and discuss how it went.

When they assembled a week hence, Father Flannery had his arm in a sling, was on crutches and had various bandages on his hands and legs. He shared his adventure first: "Well I went into the woods and found a bear all right, and when I found him I began to read him the RC Catechism, but that bear wanted nothing to do with that and began to slap me around. So, quickly I grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him, and doggone if he didn't become gentle as a lamb. The bishop will join me next week and we will give him first communion and start the process of confirmation."

The Pentecostal, the Rev. Billy Bob Bible spoke up next. He was in a wheelchair, with his arms and legs in casts, and with an IV drip. In his best fire and brimstone voice, he claimed "Well brothers, you know that we don't believe in sprinklin'. I commenced to reading the Bible to the bear, but the bear wanted nothing to do with that, or me. So I grabbed him before he left and we began to wrassle, and fell down a hill into a creek. Quick-like I jumped up and dunked his hairy soul, and doggone if he didn't become gentle as a lamb in an instant. We spent the rest of the day praisin' Jesus."

The rabbi had been silent all this time, and in fact was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and in traction with all sorts of monitors hooked up to him. He was in bad shape, but was able to look at the other two and say "Looking back on it, I should have started by reciting the ten commandments to him. Circumcision may not have been the best way to start."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tosca Lee's Havah

Tosca Lee has just released her new book, Havah,and is offering some free prizes over at her blog. Tosca's first book, Demon, placed second in the speculative fiction category of American Christian Fiction Writer's book of the year. Demon also won some other great awards in the last year, which makes Havah more interesting. We'll have a more detailed review on Havah later.

Here's Tosca's note about her new book:

"On the occasion of Havah's release last week, I'm giving away free
stuff on my blog!

"I started on the 10th, but there's time to enter until the 18th! The
turnout has been so good that I'm giving away three copies of Havah
instead of one, in addition to a copy of David Rohl's Legend, about the
possible location of Eden's garden, as well as two DVDs on Adam and Eve
and Cain and Abel. Full details on my blog on October 10th's post, but
there are reminders on subsequent entries since.

"Please stop by. I've got some thought-provoking questions about the story of Eve
posted, and will announce some exciting news by some time tomorrow.

Check out her blog.