Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CSFF Blog Tour: The Enclave Day Three

Hmmmm. It seems I may have stirred something up yesterday with my comments. A little something, good earnest debate. And that's the sign of a good book, right? It gets us thinking and talking about stuff like this.

The discussion has been so interesting for me that I decided to chuck out what I was going to write about today (namely whether or not the cartoonish supervillainy of Director Swain is a negative portrayal of atheists or not) to address some of the points raised by people who stopped by my little corner of the Internet.

Jason hit the nail on the head yesterday. I mentioned the three books I could remember that dealt with Nephilim. Well, I forgot about a few others. The sheer number of books I've read in recent years that focus on the Nephilim and Genesis 6 in general doesn't necessarily mean that there shouldn't be any more. Perhaps I overstated my case there. My problem is that the previous books were, for the most part, bad. So bad that they left a lingering bad taste in my mouth, one that tainted my enjoyment of The Enclave. That's not Karen Hancock's fault. Not by a long shot. But it's the reality of the situation.

Becky Miller (hail the Blog Overlord! Sorry, do you want me to stop that?) also stirred up some more thoughts with her comment, where she suggested that the sons of God and daughters of men mentioned in Genesis 6 might refer to unfallen children of Adam and Eve, produced in Eden before the Fall. A tantalizing theory, that. I'm not sure if I buy it, but I'd read a book about that in a heartbeat. Why? Because it's a new theory, one that gives me something to think about.

That, perhaps, is why I'm having such a negative reaction to Nephilim. Whenever they're portrayed, it's almost always the angel/human hybrids. It's further evidence of the unfortunate homoginization of Christian fiction (and not just speculative fiction) where doctrinal positions that don't fit into certain molds get thrown out completely. I mentioned something about this back when the CSFF blog tour did Tuck.

Maybe this stems from the fact that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Lutheran, but I really do wish that the industry were open to ... dare I say it ... dissenting viewpoints. Why is it that the Nephilim are always human/angel hybrids? Why does fictional eschatology always hew so closely to dispensational premillenialism (with the exception of Chris Walley's excellent postmillennial books)? Why can't we, as Christians, be more open to people with doctrinal differences, if for no other reason so we can be exposed to other ideas, other concepts, if for no other reason than we take an honest look at our own dearly held beliefs a little more critically?

You know, maybe I owe Karen Hancock an apology. Like I wrote a few lines up, none of this is her fault. She approached this from where she comes from and did so honestly and openly. Good for her. And like I wrote on Monday, I am a fan of her other books. This one just didn't do it for me, maybe because I have too much baggage to go with it.

Well, enough out of me. Just a reminder, today is the final day to toss your name into the hat to win a copy of The Enclave.

Go see what the rest of the tourists have to say:

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
Emmalyn Edwards
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Heather R. Hunt
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Mike Lynch
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Elizabeth Williams


Jason said...

Hit the nail on the head, huh? Glad I brought my hammer.

Good thoughts to finish off. I'm with you on a little daring for interesting stories regarding eschatology (except I disagree on the Chris Walley books - hated them). Kathryn Mackel's Birthrighters series hits in this area, so you might check those out.

As always, enjoying the tour greatly!

Rachel Starr Thomson said...

Best book I ever read on the end times was Catholic (and I'm not) -- Michael D. O'Brien's "Father Elijah." I agree with your thoughts on dissenting viewpoints. Fiction is an especially good place to explore them, because it gives us a way to think through their ramifications.

Apparently I missed all the bad Nephilim books (probably because I don't read much "Christian" fiction outside of this tour). Whew :).