Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Book Idea: Hardy Boys of The Apocalypse

So my idea for a new book series is something like the "Hardy Boys" series (a one-hundred some odd book series), except it be on the end times. You know the rapture and all the chaos that follows. It will have a family mixed of believers and fake believers, then the rapture comes. Many of those who are left below from the rapture then realize their mistake and become Christians. The Christians then are in a massive battle against evil, having to guard their food from unbelievers and store up fire arms. Also because the Christians know the truth they are also fighting to undermine the plan of the anti-Christ and his one-world government. (This is like 4 books already!) Much of the fight against the forces of evil will be exposing the "mark of the beast" which will be being given to people and a focus upon the nation of Israel. The Christians left will try to sabotage the building of the temple because they know who will be in the temple. Then I can some how weave the Muslims in to it and how they want to destroy Israel. Oh and then the one-world government takes off and they appoint a leader, a peaceful man, who immediately declares war on Christ and Israel. (that's another 3 books) To find out how it ends you'll have to wait and see!

Oh wait....drats...There already is a "Hardy Boys of the Apocalypse" kind of series....blasted Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins stole my idea! Ok...ok...ok...Think...hmmm..ok...um....I got it! I could take those romance novels make em less smutty you know clean it up a bit, make the characters Christian, the setting oh somewhere in the 1800's, the conflicts will be in in large part over keeping their convictions and commitments to holiness while their passions rage, other random conflicts maybe Native attacks bad farm year. Sounds good...of course I'll have to get my wife to put her name on the series. Oh wait!....there are like 20 popular women authors who are capitalizing on this sort of writing already!....Drats!

(seriously) Of course I am being satirical here. Maybe somebody thought this was funny and then quickly thought "Oh but he' making fun of people...not supposed to do that...that's un-Christian". This is really the point I am building to. Douglas Wilson has a book called "The Serrated Edge" in it he makes a biblical defense of the use of satire. It is a real good book and Wilson is firmly grounded in the word as he addresses this issue. Basically in our therapeutic man-centered culture we think it ungodly to poke fun at the foibles of others. This simply is not biblical. No one ever has to make a biblical defense for showering praise on others, however criticism especially as well as satire are seen as un-Christ like.

However, biblically, we see satire employed by the inspired writers all the time. Paul in writing to the Galatians about circumcision and those who say that it is needed for salvation writes: "I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!" (Gal 5:12) In light of the issue being addressed this is funny. Paul is making fun of the Judaizers desire to circumcise the Galatians. There are really 2 ways to look at Gal 5:12: a) Paul is making a satirical joke about the Judaizer's belief, or b) Paul really wanted men to cut their penis' off.

Another excellent example of biblical satire is the lazy man.
"The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!" As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed." (Pro 26:13-14) These two verses make fun of the lazy man in his sin of laziness. Basically he says (in modern terms) "I can't go look for a job it's a smog alert day." Also the sin of the lazy man is compared to a door turning, as often as a door turns on its hinges so the lazy man does in his bed. This is satire.

What about Jesus?

"And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?" (Lk 11:39-40) It's interesting to note how often Jesus calls men fools. Jesus points out the obvious stupidity of cleaning only the outside of a cup, the inside is what holds a drink so this is the most important. Thus Jesus by using this word picture is illustrating the stupidity of the Pharisees actions. These are same men who will give Judas 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus yet when Judas out of guilt wants to return the money the Pharisees have issues about taking it back.

Also with the rich Jesus said:
"And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:18-21) Here we see Jesus through word picture making fun of loving riches, with the hope of keeping others from similar folly.

Also there is the popular passage of Christ's where He talks of taking the plank form your own eye: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matt 7:3-5) This really is a rather humorous illustration, here is a man with a log sticking out of his face and he has more concern for removing a speck he has spotted in his brothers eye!

Now someone might say, well ok so in the bible Jesus did make fun of people, but we aren't Jesus, He did it perfectly so we shouldn't do it. True. However, we also don't love perfectly so should we not imitate the Lord in love also? Just some thoughts. Wilson's book really lays the biblical stance on these issues. Of course there is just plain mean spirited criticisms of people which is wrong, however this does not mean all criticism is bad.

As with the Hardy boys of the Apocalypse and cheap Christian romance novels, I think in the latter we have a clear rip off of what the world likes repackaged into a "Christian" format. Imitating the world and repackaging it in Christian format I think is sin the apostle James writes:"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." So I think to imitate the world is contrary to undefiled religion. What I wrote above was a bit of a parody of how one can go about creating a "Christian" romance novel, trying to expose the shrewd worldliness, with the hope of turning others from similar folly (imitating the world).

1 comment:

Lisa said...

How do you define "satire?" How is it different from plain sarcasm? And, um, way to STEAL Wilson's own Hardy Boys idea. Hello, eighth commandment! But on a positive note - your writing is looking good here. Perhaps you found a niche - uh-oh!