Sunday, August 27, 2006

Good Endtimes Fiction

The sermon this morning was on the Mark account of the Olivet Discourse - an interesting passage to analyze, to be sure. Best line of the sermon (paraphrase):

I think just about the best endtimes fiction I've read is the Brothers Grimm tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
I thought he was joking, and just indicating that he didn't put much stock in the endtimes fiction that currently fills our local Christian bookstores. But no, he was serious, and as he explained I saw why. Of course the analogy was imperfect, but it was interesting :).

Snow White lived in a world that was marred and under a curse, and one day her prince came and set things back right again. Similarly we live in a stricken world marred by the fall. Death, disease, and suffering were not part of the original creation, but a consequence of sin. We await a day when our Prince will come and set things back right again. What a beautiful hope!

Some day my Prince will come
Some day we'll meet again
And away to his castle we'll go
To be happy forever I know. . .

30 comments:

Lydia said...

Wow! I never would have thought of Snow White being an analogy to the return of Christ but that was interesting.

So which type of escatology do you subscribe to? Or would you rather not reveal that openly on your blog?

My mind is not entirely made up but I have definitely moved away from end times fiction based on "newspaper exegesis" as my brother liked to call it. ;)

Another area of study for another day...

BTW, I replied to your e-mail this evening so be sure to check when you get a chance. :)

Ashley said...

We had a pastor one time who told us every basic story today is already in the Bible. The struggle between good and evil, etc.

Susan said...

Hmmm, do I want to reveal my eschatalogical views online? *thinks to self* It doesn't bother me ;). To be honest, I'm not firmly planted in any of the four camps, as I don't feel that I have done enough study on the topic to warrant a firm plantation. I have studied eschatology to a small degree, though.

I am definitely not dispensational pre-mil (but I love my dispensational brothers and sisters in Christ!), nor do I identify with historical pre-mil. I lean heavily post-mil, but haven't discounted a-mil. My pastor also happens to be post-mil, so his sermon was from a partial-preterist viewpoint.

Ashley, that reminds me of a Tolkien quote. I can't find it on google! It was something along the lines of: every story is a small retelling of the Great Story.

John Dekker said...

Frodo: "And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one that you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them to."

Sam: "No, sir, of course not. Beren now, he never thought he was going to get that Silmaril from the Iron Crown in Thangorodrim, and yet he did, and that was a worse place and a blacker danger than ours. But that's a long tale, of course, and goes on past the happiness and into grief and beyond it - and the Silmaril went on and came to E҆rendil. And why, sir, I never thought of that before! We've got - you've got some of the light of it in that star-glass that the Lady gave you! Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?"

Frodo: "No, they never end as tales. But the people in them come, and go when their part's ended. Our part will end later - or sooner."

zan said...

So, Mr. Decker, just how many times have you read, LOTR?

Becky Miller said...

Oooh, chills from one of my favorite Tolkien quotes!

So, I think the analogy breaks down in that God has a lot more for us to do than sleep till he returns. : )

Susan said...

That's actually not the quote I was thinking of, John - though it is a good one :). I was thinking of something Tolkien said in an interview, when asked if LOTR was an allegory (which he denied). I can't find it, though. . .

Okay, okay, Becky, I said the analogy wasn't perfect. . . ;-) And I think Snow White's fights with evil while she was awake were more what he was referring to, though I'm not sure. I agree that we have plenty to do before Christ returns :).

John Dekker said...

Actually, zan, I'm a relative newbie - only twice, as it turns out. But the first time it felt like coming home, or finding a long-lost brother, and I lamented a misspent youth...

I have a minister friend have up Tolkien after he realised he'd read LOTR more than the Bible...

John Dekker said...

oops - "who gave up"

Jessie said...

That's neat! It's not a perfect analogy, like you said, but nothing ever is : )
But this is where my commentary must end, because I've never read LOTR (I can't even follow the movie) and I'll have to get back to you about the escatology! I know what I believe, but I need to be sure I get all the terms right before I post them here, possibly incorrectly! *going to refer to our Dictionary of Theological Terms*

Susan said...

Jessie, I thought we were kindred spirits! Not like LOTR? *sigh* We need to talk. Checking terms is always a good idea, I agree :).

zan said...

I read LOTR after sitting in a movie theater and seeing the trailers to this movie coming at Christmas time. I thought the trailers looked so cool so I checked the books out. I had NEVER heard of them or Tolkien! I was a huge reader in my teens, too. I realized that the movies were going to follow the books. I decided that each summer I would read a book and then see the movie. I didn't have college to worry about as I had just graduated. Well, I wizzed through the first book in about 2-3 days. I didn't know it had a cliff-hanging ending. I decided that waiting for next summer to finish the trilogy was stupid and read the rest of them. It was the most satisfying read I had had in awhile. It is hard for me to like fiction. I feel like I've read all the "good" fiction out there. I felt like Tolkien had written the books for me. I will never forget that summer of wonderful reading when I discovered LOTR.

Hope you all enjoyed my tale of how I discovered Tolkien. : )

zan said...

Another thing abou the similarities of Snow White to the return of Christ is how easily she is deceived. As soon as her support system is gone for the day (the 7 dwarfs which you could also call the local church...this is a stretch, but go with me, here)she is a lost cause, by herself. I don't know about anyone else, but if an old woman came to my door looking like she had been beaten to near death with an ugly stick, I wouldn't eat anything she had to offer. I would atleast wash the apple first.

Snow White is not that bright, yet she is loveable. I always thought it was interesting that Christ used sheep as a picture of Christians. Having had sheep in the past I realized how approprite this was because they are loveable, yet, easily deceived and helpless without the rest of their flock and their shepard. I guess that would stress the importance of the church on earths' role.

In the original faery tale of Snow White, she falls for the wicked queens' tricks three times. There is a poison comb, a magical belt, and then the apple. I think it would have been more accurate and more believable if the Brother's Grimm had made her a blonde...sorry Susan. But, maybe they couldn't come up with hair as blonde as...???

Susan said...

I must admit that I saw FOTR before reading the books *guilty look*. I then proceeded to spend that Christmas break (freshman year in college) reading The Hobbit and then LOTR. My mom had read us The Hobbit years earlier, but I had never read LOTR (Brother Dear had).

We drive up to Indiana every Christmas, and I can't read in the car without feeling sick to my stomache. Let's just say that I read anyway, had a splitting headache and felt nauseated, but kept reading, because I couldn't put the books down!

I could pretend to look insulted at your suggestion that Snow White should have been blonde, but it was too amusing :). I loved your bit about not taking food from an old woman who looked like she had been beaten by a stick. We had quite a good laugh about that one :).

Jessie said...

Yes, Susan, sorry. Even kindred spirits can fail us! But you had to know the truth sooner or later, no matter how ugly or sad it is.

But I must say, that I do think I would follow the movie better if I had read the books, and that if you all keep up this praise of LOTR, I might actually try to read them! (No promises here, but maybe.)

And (unfortunately?) I got all sidetracked in the Dictionary of Theological Terms and kept reading about other topics than the ones I inteded on looking up! It wasn't fruitless, but it didn't accomplish my goal either. In other words, I still can't tell you my right terms yet : )

Susan said...

You should read them, Jessie! They were worth the splitting headache I acquired. I really need to go back and read them again! I've read FOTR twice, but alas, school prevented me from completing them all a second time :(.

I get sidetracked too when I'm looking things up :). I'll let you slide. . .

Ashley said...

For some reason, I couldn't get through LOTR books. I watched all the movies once in the theater, and read FOTR. I read half of Two Towers and never finished. I should pick them up again... They are in the same category as Jane Austen books, ones that I should enjoy, that everyone tells me to read, but for some reason I can never finish them. (And you wondered why "Emma" has been so long in my "Currently Reading" section of my blog.)

My dad used to read all three LOTR once a year. :-)

zan said...

Ashley,

Emma was hard to get through.I found it quite boring. Try Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion.

Susan said...

I agree with Zan, Ashley. Emma is not as easy a read as some of Jane Austen's other novels. I think P&P or Persuasion are the two best "first read" options. Then maybe you'll come back to Emma and love it!

I think I've mentioned this before, but when I read Emma the first time, I was still unused to the whole people-marrying-cousins and especially the girls-marrying-men-twice-their-age culture of the time, so I completely didn't see the end coming (her husband is 16 years older than her). Same with Mansfield Park, although the surprise there was that she married her cousin. Now, though, Mr. Knightley is one of my favorite Jane Austen heroes - ranked just lower than Mr. Darcy :-D.

zan said...

I like Capt. Wentworth. Just something about a seacaptain.

Ya, marrying cousins...ew.

Ashley said...

You spoiled the ending!!

Susan said...

*guilty look* I thought you'd seen the movie??? Sorry! Becky and I have also discussed the age gap between Emma and Mr. Knightley before, and I thought you had seen that. Oops.

zan said...

That would be a good post. How many yrs is too many between husbands and wives. My sister told a guy to hit the road because of a 12 yr age gap (he was older). I guess it was more acceptible in Austen's time. There is 8 yrs between my husband and I, and ten between my sister and her husband (he is older).

I guess it depends on maturity of both couples. I have a friend who married a man 22 yrs older. Wow. They seem happy... He is a lawyer and she is a speech therapist. Both very good Christians.

Susan said...

That would be an interesting post. . . but the whole topic is so arbitrary, really, that it wouldn't make for a very "concrete" post :). I remember once hearing someone make the case that men shouldn't marry women older than them because Adam was created before Eve. Wow, that's a huge leap in logic ;). I've always wanted to marry a man older than me, but I don't think it's a Biblical mandate!

I don't mind the idea of marrying an "older guy," but my idea of older is around 30. But then, I've thought the same for a few years, so does that mean it should now be "around 32"? ;) The Emma ending just surprised me because I cluelessly thought of him as a "father figure" to her. I was young, okay. . . And blonde ;)

I think you're absolutely right that it really depends on the maturity of both the man and the woman.

Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Ashley.

I wouldn't get too worked up about knowing the ending. Austen books aren't really about the plot anyway; they're more about the characters and how they interact. There's a reason that people claim she invented the "novel of manners," as most of her books are classified.

Anyway. I would agree that P&P is a great first read (it's my favorite of her books, though Sense and Sensibility, Emma Thompson version, is my favorite of the movies.) Persuasion is good, too. I'd also recommend Northanger Abbey, so long as you make sure you understand that it's a total spoof on the Gothic novel.

Happy reading!

In Christ

Ashley said...

Hehe I was kidding. I had seen the movie, way back in high school so it's been a while. The reason why I started with Emma is because 1) I've seen the movie, and 2) my sister gave me the book for Christmas so I feel obigated to read it.

I married an older guy - 9 months older. When I first started dating him I was so proud to be dating a sophomore. Hehe

Susan said...

Yeah, Paul really robbed the cradle ;). Nine months is a huge age gap, Ashley. You're probably going to have all sorts of problems. Think of the "generational divide" - a real biggie.

Have I mentioned that I have spare copies of most of Jane Austen's novels (all but MP)? :-D Feel free to borrow next time you're over. . .

zan said...

I never heard of the Adam and Eve thing. That is funny.

My mom is older than my dad by 3 months. I guess they didn't follow the scriptual mandate for age difference.

I always imagined myself marrying older when I was young, too.

I wish I had known that Northanger Abbey was a spoof on a Gothic Novel.lol! I thought it was such a weird story and ending. I realized later that it was supposed to be funny. I read that when I was "in love" with books like "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre". I was very confused.

Angie said...

Hey Susan,
I've been reading your blog for the last few days and I have really enjoyed it. You guys seem so much like me, with your love of books, your fondness for names, your long hair, your dresses, your big families...I could go on and on, but I wanted to comment about the books you were talking about. My mother bought a beautiful copy of The Lord of the Rings (all in one book)when she first got married. She kept it put safely away so none of her brood could tear it up. Several years before the movies ever came out, my older sister and I, having read practically everything else in the house,found it,and started on that. I loved it and we would fight over the book. It was terrible not knowing what was going to happen to my beloved characters, while I had to wait for a chance to take the book.

I also am a fan of Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey is the first one that I read, and it is still my favorite. It's a good choice, if you've never read anything by her before, because it's so short.

Susan said...

Hi, Angie,

I'm glad you stopped by :). I'm glad you're enjoying my blog, and I hope you'll come back! It sounds like we do have quite a bit in common. Just to clarify, I'm actually not from a large family - my family only has 3 children - but I pray that God will bless me with a houseful someday :).

My sister and I read Lord of the Rings for the first time together, and also had to take turns reading :). It's a delightful read! And all of Jane Austen's works are excellent :-D.