Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CSFF Blog Tour: DragonLight Day 2

On the Rehabilitation of Dragons...

When we talk about DragonLight and the rest of the DragonKeeper series, there's an interesting shift that Donita K. Paul achieves. She rehabilitates dragons from a Christian point of view.

She's not the only one to attempt this. As a matter of fact, I first learned about the DragonKeeper books about the same time that I heard about Bryan Davis's Dragons in Our Midst books. And, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit, I had a negative reaction to both. "Dragons as good guys? In a Christian series? I think not!" The reason for this rather close-minded mindset is because of the symbolic luggage that dragons carry around in Christianity. After all, in Revelation, Satan is depicted as a dragon. It's just a bit natural for people to be wary about books that cast the symbolic image of ultimate evil as the good guys.

But those who would completely reject these books for that reason would miss some awfully good stories. And besides, there are two points that we should remember.

First of all, Revelation is full of symbolic language. Satan is no more a literal dragon than Jesus is a seven eyed, seven horned, glow-in-the-dark lamb. God used that imagery because a dragon would likely evoke certain feelings and concepts in John's mind.

Second, and more importantly, by rehabilitating dragons like this, we Christians are "taking it back." In some ways, it's a redemptive venture, striking out into Satan's realm and claiming back what should have always been ours in the first place.

Think of it this way: Satan can't create anything. He can only twist and distort what God Himself has created. It's a shame to leave Satan with anything that he can call his own when we can snatch it back from him, sanctify it in the light of Christ, and make it our own. And yes, I know that I'm paralleling Paul's discussion of Wulder's high and low races here.

The trick is to make sure that we can relate what's being redeemed to God properly. Another good example is the way that Paul uses "magic" in her books. Let's face it, that's extremely tricky and if it's not done right, can lead to a huge mess. After all, the Bible is pretty clear that Christians aren't to engage in any sort of godless sorcery.

But Paul sidesteps this issue by making the wizards in her book operate under Wulder's authority and by tying magic into the rules of Wulder's creation. As such, they're not operating independently or in contradiction to Wulder, but they're doing so in relation to Him.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the blog tour participants have to say:

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
* Beth Goddard
Mark Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Terri Main
* Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
* Rebecca LuElla Miller
Deena Peterson
Steve Rice
* Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
* Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams

1 comment:

nissa_amas_katoj said...

'The Rehabilitation of Dragons' --- is there a twelve-step program for that?

Very good posts, by the way.