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Belief in the Supernatural Builds Faith in ‘Breakthrough’

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Belief in the Supernatural Builds Faith in ‘Breakthrough’

This review was featured by Speculative Faith.

“Mommy, I’m scared to go to bed. What if there are ghosts in there?”

Should tell my daughter ghosts aren’t real? I’d believed that most of my life as do many Christians. But I stopped with the words dangling on the tip of my tongue. Saying ghosts don’t exist felt like a lie.

In 1 Samuel 28, Saul visited the medium at En-dor in order to gain counsel from a deceased Samuel. The medium was able to bring up the spirit, and the late prophet revealed Saul’s identity to the medium and prophesied about the coming battle. From my understanding, this passage implies that not only was Saul in sin when he visited the medium but was truly speaking with Samuel’s spirit. . . .

Read more on speculativefaith.org.

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The Fellowship of ‘Tolkien’

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The Fellowship of ‘Tolkien’

This review was featured by Speculative Faith.

Many reviews and ranting blogs backed up my newsfeeds in the weeks leading up to the release of Tolkien. Never have I read more fretting, contradictory articles. Yet despite the variety of opinions on the interwebs, one thing is certain: J.R.R. Tolkien is well loved.

From Christian fans, to purist Middle Earth super-geeks, to indifferent LOTR movie goers—John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (played by Nicholas Hoult) has captured the attention of us all. So it wouldn’t seem too much to ask that a biopic film of his early life would do the man justice.

But did it?

Read more on speculativefaith.org.

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Does the ‘Captain Marvel’ Film Promote Feminism?

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Does the ‘Captain Marvel’ Film Promote Feminism?

This review was featured by Speculative Faith.

After I saw Captain Marvel, I read two contradictory Christian reviews—both from writers I follow and respect.

The first was the opposition from Greg Morse at Desiring God. Next came some very high praise from K. B. Hoyle at Christ and Pop Culture.

Morse at Desiring God argued the movie could show a stronger-than-all woman swooping in to save the failing men, when all hope is lost in the battle with Thanos. He suggested this could encourage men in our society to remain weak, passive, and cowardly in their God-given role as a protector. . . .

Read more on speculativefaith.org.

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Captain Marvel Left Me Baffled and Disappointed

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Captain Marvel Left Me Baffled and Disappointed

This review was featured by Speculative Faith.

“I was ready to love Captain Marvel.

After all, DC’s Wonder Woman stands out in my mind as epic and chock full of some glorious common grace. Surely Marvel’s own feminst icon would be the same?

But, sadly, I was left disappointed with Carol Danvers. . . .”

Read more on speculativefaith.org.

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‘Shazam!’ Soars with Humor and a Virtue-Seeking Hero

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‘Shazam!’ Soars with Humor and a Virtue-Seeking Hero

This review was featured by Speculative Faith.

“I found a lot to love about the new DC film Shazam!

Rich with humor, religious symbolism, and a protagonist on a journey toward virtue—Christian fans won’t be disappointed! It was a fun combo of Superman meets Tom Hanks in Big meets Fullmetal Alchemist!

Thanks to Fandango and Warner Bros. featuring an early access showing, I had the pleasure of viewing the much anticipated DC film two weeks early. And I’m so glad I did. . . .”

Read more on speculativefaith.org.

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When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be the Villain

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When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be the Villain

‘When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be the Villain’

Should parents make their kids only play as heroes and good guys?

This article was featured in Lorehaven Magazine.

“Does your child choose to play the cop or the robber? A Sith Lord or a Jedi Knight?

Why choose to play the villain at all when you could choose to play a hero?

Parents might think the answer is simple. Villains may have cooler costumes and passionate personalities in need of redemption. . . .”

Read more when you subscribe for our free, quarterly magazine at lorehaven.com.

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Lorehaven Spring '19 Issue

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Lorehaven Spring '19 Issue

Lorehaven Magazine Spring ‘19 Issue!

Subscribe for FREE!

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Captain’s Log

E. Stephen Burnett

Young fans are slowly guiding Christian fiction toward fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond.

Book Reviews

Lorehaven review team

Explore twelve new fantastical novels from Christian authors.

Sponsored Review: Outbreak

Lorehaven review team

Outbreak will doubtless thrill readers who enjoy a good zombie yarn.

Sponsored Review: The Reluctant Disciple

Lorehaven review team

The Reluctant Disciple tours popular thematic attractions via disquieting paths.

Featured Review: The Line Between

Lorehaven review team

Tosca Lee’s thriller quests toward truth among apocalyptic madness.

‘Come With Me! I Have A Story To Tell You’

Interview with novelist Tosca Lee

In Tosca Lee’s fictional worlds, heroines find new identities of grace.

Fanservants: How to Geek Out with Godly Purpose

Paeter Frandsen

Does our investment in stories build the kingdom or waste our gifts?

Fanservants: ‘When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be the Villain’

Marian Jacobs

Should parents make their kids only play as heroes and good guys?

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Lorehaven Winter '18 Issue

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Lorehaven Winter '18 Issue

Lorehaven Magazine Winter Issue!

Subscribe for FREE!

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Inside this issue:

  • Thomas Locke shares his faith journey and creative motive behind his many fantastical novels, including his newest release, Enclave.

  • We review Enclave, in which white-hat heroes in a corrupt frontier cope with the remnants of the now-decaying nation.

  • Our team reviews the best Christian-created fantastical novels.

  • This issue also includes two sponsored reviews: Mary Ting's Jaclyn and the Beanstalk and C. S. Wachter's The Light Arises.

  • Paeter Frandsen asks if Christian geeks might react like Spock and think of God (merely) as "fascinating."

  • Marian Jacobs gives practical, biblical advice to parents of children obsessed with superheroes.


Meanwhile, at the Lorehaven Book Clubs group, we're still hosting many of the authors featured in our book reviews. Staring in January, watch for more storytellers to arrive in the clubs and explore more at SpecFaith.

This March: watch for the spring 2019 issue! (Advertisers, click here.)

But first, watch for more surprises we plan to announce in January ...

Join the mission at Lorehaven.com. You can also browse our the LorehavenLibrary, which helps you find more than 900 Christian fantastical titles. Enjoy daily, free articles at Speculative Faith. And be sure to share this magazine with your church, friends, family, and anyone else who would love to explore great Christian fantasy.

Thank you for joining this mission to find truth in fantastic stories.

Maranatha, and merry Christmas!

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The Biblical Source of Super-Strength

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The Biblical Source of Super-Strength

The Biblical Source of Super-Strength

How can we teach children to enjoy superheroes as biblical Christians?

This article was featured in Lorehaven Magazine.

“Are superheroes real?

Our children would love to think so.

Men and women of supernatural abilities have been a fixation for our culture since the Greek epics. In fact, a boy with comic book in hand is now something of a stereotype. Some have even argued that our society worships superheroes due to the massive number of films, books, and merchandise created to satisfy market demands. . . .”

Read more when you subscribe for our free, quarterly magazine at lorehaven.com.

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Lorehaven Fall '18 Issue

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Lorehaven Fall '18 Issue

Lorehaven Magazine Fall Issue!

Subscribe for FREE!

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Fantastic stories are capable of God-glorifying good, but also idolatrous evil.

Book Reviews

Lorehaven review team

Sponsored Review: Affinity

Lorehaven review team

Affinity is a creative and original play on old concepts, and if you’re willing to take the ride, you’ll find it goes places.

Featured Review: Mark of the Raven

Lorehaven review team

Here’s dreaming that fans can share in more stories like this.

‘I Want to Share with Other People Who God Is’

Interview with novelist Morgan L. Busse

Morgan L. Busse’s fantastic realms challenge us to ponder our place in God’s world.

Fanservants: The Secret Identity of Christian Geeks

Paeter Frandsen

In Christ, you are a holy, adopted, cosmic ambassador on a mission.

Fanservants: Molding Your Child’s Plastic Imagination

Marian Jacobs

We can nurture young ones’ creativity for the glory of God.

New Worlds: The Christian Roots of Fantasy

R. J. Anderson

The genre once known as ”fairy stories” sprang from biblical ground.

Folklore: Werewolf Tales Reveal the Beast Inside

C. W. Briar

Dark creatures personify our struggle against the sinful nature.

Roundtable: Engaging the Magical Spellcraft of Stories

Parker J. Cole, Marian Jacobs, Ronie Kendig, Robert Treskillard, E. Stephen Burnett

Our panel explores how Christians discern fiction’s magical elements.

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Molding Your Child’s Plastic Imagination

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Molding Your Child’s Plastic Imagination

Molding Your Child’s Plastic Imagination

We can nurture young ones’ creativity for the glory of God.

This article was featured in Lorehaven Magazine.

“Have you ever heard people say they’re not creative?

Maybe they say they can’t draw, play instruments, or write novels.

Creativity and imagination give us more than art or critical thinking skills (ways we evaluate problems from new angles). In fact, imagination is the ability to speculate. This kind of creativity fuels work, daily life, and the worship of an invisible God. . . .”

Read more when you subscribe for our free, quarterly magazine at lorehaven.com.

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Thanos Offered Fake Love in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

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Thanos Offered Fake Love in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

My article, Thanos Offered Fake Love in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, was featured on Speculative Faith. I make a case for why Thanos could not have truly loved Gamora, because love is not just affection—it’s self-sacrifice.

"It’s been months since I sat down to watch Thanos wield Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War.

[Editor’s note: Beware spoilers, starting in the very next sentence.]

And it’s taken me nearly as long to fully wrap my brain around Gamora’s death. It was meant to be disturbing and heartbreaking, yet there was something much deeper at work than the evil of Thanos..."

Read more at Speculative Faith.

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Lorehaven Summer '18 Issue

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Lorehaven Summer '18 Issue

Lorehaven Magazine Winter Issue!

Subscribe for FREE!

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Lorehaven’s mission: to chase fantasy joys all the way back to their Giver.
 

  • Book Reviews

Lorehaven review team

Explore the best new fantastical novels from Christian authors. Browse each title and learn more at lorehaven.com/library.
 

  • Sponsored Reviews: The Ghost Mine

Ben Wolf’s sci-fi actioner escapes the haunts of space horrors.
 

  • Featured Review: Fawkes

Lorehaven review team

Guy Fawkes’s 1605 gunpowder plot gets a color-magical twist.
 

  • ‘I Process Big Questions Through Story’

Story: E. Stephen Burnett

Nadine Brandes loves heroes who fight to find themselves in the color of truth.
 

  • Fanservants: How to Become a Spiritually Leveled-Up Christian Geek

Paeter Frandsen

God encourages us to be kind and compassionate, even in our fandom fights.
 

  • Fanservants: How Does Your Family Read Fantasy?

Marian Jacobs

Parents, try these tips to help children mature as fantasy readers.
 

  • Sponsored Reviews: The Sorcerer’s Bane

C. S. Wachter flings thematic windows open to sunlight and storms.
 

  • New Worlds: Horror Reveals Human Sin in the Dark

Mike Duran

Classic novels and films trace their fears all the way back to the Bible.
 

  • Sponsored Reviews

Journey Into Legend

All the realism and complexity of Journey into Legend wraps around an old, blazing vision.
 

Road of the Lost

Aidan Russell creates action-driven fantasy of all the good old things.
 

  • Folklore: Flood Legends Rise from the Depths of History

Tim Chaffey

From the Bible to modern flood fiction, we keep encountering Noah’s Ark.
 

  • Roundtable: Engaging That @&*% Our Stories Often Say

Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Morgan L. Busse, Mike Duran, Steve Rzasa, E. Stephen Burnett

Join the debate over hot topics based on biblical grace and truth. Our expert panel explores how Christians discern ‘bad words’ in fiction.

Meanwhile, join Lorehaven Book Clubs, starting online! (And if you're an author or publisher, we're saving space in our fall 2018 issue for your next amazing advertisement—to share your story with new fans.)

Thank you for joining this mission to find truth in fantastic stories.

Godspeed!

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How Does Your Family Read Fantasy?

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How Does Your Family Read Fantasy?

How Does Your Family Read Fantasy?

Parents, try these tips to help children mature as fantasy readers.

This article was featured in Lorehaven Magazine.

“In Exodus 31 and 32, Moses ascended Mount Sinai to communicate with God. Meanwhile, the Israelites grew impatient for his return.

So impatient, in fact, that they asked Aaron to make them gods to worship (Exodus 32: 1–6).

They were like small children, quick to disobey when they thought the Lord wasn’t watching. And like small children, they needed structure and simple rules to point their hearts toward truth.

Shepherding our children is no different than God’s progressive revelation. Parents start by teaching their children through rules, then progressively give them more freedom to make decisions for themselves as they mature in wisdom. We follow the same process when we teach children to think through speculative fiction in age-appropriate ways. . . .”

Read more when you subscribe for our free, quarterly magazine at lorehaven.com.

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Selfless Theater

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Selfless Theater

As a theater major at a Christian university, I found myself stuck in the cycle of theatrical pride and low-self image. I sought to glorify God on and off stage but continuously fell short. So I quit. This is my story.

Selfless Theater is a two part article featured on Stage and Story. Click here for part one and here for part two

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Lorehaven Magazine Spring '18 Debut!

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Lorehaven Magazine Spring '18 Debut!

I'm so excited about this new digital magazine, guys!

In the Spring issue, you'll find my article, "What If Your Kids Don't Read Fantasy?" In the Summer issue, you can read the follow up article, "How Does Your Family Read Fantasy?"

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 Lorehaven Magazine finds truth in fantastic stories. This is the place where you will find:

- Flash reviews of excellent Christian-made fantastical novels.
- Book clubs to share these stories with friends and family.
- Articles that glorify God while exploring human imagination.

Subscribe today and get your free issue at Lorehaven.com!

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Every Woman's Silent Struggle

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Every Woman's Silent Struggle

FEATURED BY DESIRING GOD

"Being a woman who struggles with lust can feel like being alone in a crowded room. You think you are the only one tempted when you watch that movie and read that book. Yet the opposite is true.

We’ve been told that lust is when a man looks at a woman (not his wife) and desires her. That definition is both misleading and incomplete. If women don’t begin to redefine what lust means for them, they will continue to isolate themselves from each other, their spouses, and, in so doing, cripple their chances of overcoming temptation. . . ."

Read more on Desiring God's website.

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What If Your Kids Don't Read Fantasy

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What If Your Kids Don't Read Fantasy

Featured by Speculative Faith

Are unsure if your child should be reading fantasy? You may be asking the wrong questions. 

"I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with a mature Christian friend about their uncertainty of the role of fiction and imagination.

They may know it’s good in a nebulous sense, but what should they do when their child suddenly has an appetite for fantasy? What if they ask to read Harry Potter?

They don’t consider themselves fundamentalists, yet they think fantasy poses a real threat to their child."

Read more on Speculative Faith's website.

 

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The Dark Alleys in Young Adult Fiction

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The Dark Alleys in Young Adult Fiction

FEATURED BY DESIRING GOD

Are you or your child a voracious reader of young adult fiction? For many parents, it would be impossible to read every book your child is reading. But just how uninformed are you to what is being consumed by the middle schoolers and teens in your home? 

"'I’m just glad she’s reading.' You’ve heard it before. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. You think it’s great that your teen or preteen is enjoying literature. And it is great.

Mostly.

Many parents think any book is better than hours in front of a screen. But they may be blissfully unaware of some current trends in young adult (YA) fiction.

This article isn’t primarily about censoring your child — or even yourself — from the world of secular fiction, but about knowing what’s out there and guarding the hearts of your family through prayer and critical thinking (Proverbs 4:23Philippians 4:6–8)."

Read more on Desiring God's website.

Read an edited version at Stage and Story. 

Cover art above was designed by JT Wynn from Stage and Story!

Do you have questions or concerns about this article? Read my follow-up blog The Dark Alleys Part Two.

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Fears Shrink When God Grows

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Fears Shrink When God Grows

Fears Shrink When God Grows: A non-fiction narrative

FEATURED BY DESIRING GOD

I recount a severe car accident that will impact my family and me for the rest of our lives.  It was because of this ordeal that I experienced crippling anxiety for many years. After searching for answers to overcoming her fears, God provided them through continuous prayer and the council of a pastor. I was eventually able to see that my anxiety was rooted in idolatry.

 

"It was August of 2009, an hour west of Flagstaff, Arizona. I was sitting shotgun in my boyfriend’s Jeep with his dad in the back seat, driving cross-country from southern California to Chicago. We were on our way to attend seminary, or so we thought. An hour after we stopped for lunch, both my boyfriend and I were overcome with sudden exhaustion. There would be no staying awake.

I was woken abruptly by my boyfriend’s father urgently calling out his son’s name. I looked up just in time to see us drifting off the highway. The Jeep jerked right, then left, eventually sliding perpendicular on the road. The cruise control was still on, and we were traveling fast."

Read more on Desiring God's website.

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