Archive for the ‘Lessons in Fantasy’ Category

An Orc Like Me

By Brent King On April 20, 2016 No Comments

Orc

In the course of long years of contemplation on The Lord of the Rings I have seen my reflection in Gollum, the Nazgûl, and even in the pathetic life of Grima Wormtongue. Yet I have never seen it in the sickening existence of an Orc.

Beyond Salvation?

Maybe it’s because they’re so ruined—so ugly—so hopelessly given over to the dark side. I couldn’t envision myself like them. I just couldn’t.

So it’s been easy for me to write the Orcs off, to resign them forever to the realm of evil. Could any of us envision an Orc’s heart softening or an Orc doing something noble like Faramir or Aragorn?

No.

Surely they are beyond salvation, like vampires and zombies.

A Horrifying Thought

Yet just today the appalling thought struck me:

The Orc is me. 

All who refuse to sever ties with the Dark




Marley Was Dead, To Begin With…

By Brent King On December 30, 2015 No Comments

“Jesus said unto her, “I am the resurrection and the Life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live…” John 11:25

12339130_10207109289783956_4688801323561514768_oMarley was dead, to begin with…

Like Jacob Marley, have we died and become incapable of doing the thing that God wants us to do? Marley was filled with anguish and regret, and yet he was not beyond redemption. His visit to Ebenezer Scrooge was still able to work great good in the world.

We may have blown it in life and joined Marley in heartache and torment, the death that results in turning from God’s will, but we have not yet slipped beyond recovery.

A new year is awaiting us, a year that offers redemption. Even now God’s perfect will is awaiting us. Even now we can turn




Don’t Drink the Wrong Elixir!

By Brent King On November 16, 2015 No Comments

Hyde Tweety“I’ve gone too far. I can’t be good, and now even God can’t help me!”

Those were the words of a colleague of mine—with whom I worked side by side for over a decade—just before he killed himself. Of course I was deeply troubled, first because he was my friend, but second because the thought of stepping past the point of no return terrified me.

As I contemplated the fate of my friend, images of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde flooded my mind. Dr. Jekyll wants to become a better person and, thinking he can accomplish this himself, he develops a potion to exorcise the dark side from his life. But it turns out that his bad side is worse than he expected. It completely seizes him every night in the violent and selfish form of Mr. Hyde. Even in this dark




Always Winter and Never Christmas…

By Brent King On November 9, 2015 No Comments

Always WinterAlways winter and never Christmas…

It took a while for these words to sink in after I first read them in CS Lewis’ timeless classic. Yet slowly, this curse of “always” and “never” in Narnia grew to troubling proportions in my mind.

You see I have a strange conflict in my life, in that I love both summer and Christmas. I’ve never been too fond of cold. Perhaps this is why for years I also celebrated Christmas in July. The idea of joining these two favorites—summer and Christmas—was for me marriage made in heaven, and the White Witch’s purpose to ban them both was hell.

Yet recently, as I look back over my life, I see more clearly the true horror of the witch’s curse. Jesus says in Revelation that He wishes that




Bring Me To Life

By Brent King On November 2, 2015 No Comments

andreasrochaWhat is it about zombies that capture society’s imagination? Is it the graphic horror that rivets our eyes to them? Do they somehow trigger our innate sense of survival? Or is it just another manifestation of our intuition that the end of all things is near?

A Metaphor That Runs Deep

Whatever it is, our strange infatuation with zombies has run deep enough to hold them strong in our consciousness for many years. I have to admit that it makes me sick to look at humans so hideously mutated. Then again, have you taken a stroll in a large city center lately? Have you listened to how our youth talk in our schools? Have you seen the recent suicide statistics? The horror of the zombie runs much deeper than our movies about them. The metaphor strikes to




A Lesson from Frankenstein

By Brent King On October 26, 2015 No Comments

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel…” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

frankensteinAs I have walked through the horrendous world of monsters, it was only a matter of time before I met Frankenstein. He stood there before me in the dark—sewn, scabbed, and hideous. Yet as I scrambled after him over the heartbreaking landscape of his world, he seemed less and less scary and more and more like me.

I have come away from Dr. Frankenstein’s creature changed, and now I know a bit more about monsters. First, my mind goes back to something Tolkien said, “For nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so.” If Tolkien is right, then no monster we meet starts out that way. Even the Orcs were once Elves. Monsters, then,




To Break a Curse

By Brent King On May 9, 2015 No Comments

My soon-to-be-released novel, The Fiercest Fight, harbors a curse. Consequently, I have a few things to say about curses:

Fhangmanrom the ancient bane of Cain to the Egyptian curse of Tutankhamen, men have been under a dark spell. It haunts their days and their dreams. It is such a part of their lives that they can’t imagine living in a world without it.

The curse has passed from father to child ever since it fell on the earth. Its plague darkens each eye—and every town square—with shadow. In that shadow, none can see any other but themself. Every one, in turn, becomes a parasite, feeding on the lives of those around them to sustain their own fortune. Yet this cursed course sustains no one, for when the host dies, the parasite dies




Fighting Blood with Blood

By Brent King On April 30, 2015 No Comments

Fighting Blood With Blood“Blood!” we cry. “Bloodshed marks only the lowest of men.” Yet we are mistaken, for all of our hands are stained with blood. The words of the martyred 16th century priest, John Bradford, echo down through history:

“But for the grace of God, there go I.”

Man Is Degenerate

The good Book affirms his insight into the degeneracy of man. “There is none righteous. Not even one” (Romans 3:10). “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Grace is man’s only hope. Without it, he is doomed to depravity. How many young men have thought themselves above grace? How many have imagined themselves above the foulest passions of humanity—only to drink their vulgar and bloody dregs?

We Know This Is True

Our




The City On Your Knees

By Brent King On April 13, 2015 2 Comments

man-on-floor-on-kneesHave you ever ventured to the land of peace? Have you ever walked the streets of the city of hope? Have you ever breathed the air of happily ever after?

Tonight’s the Night

If you never have, then tonight’s the night. Tonight will be your time to step across the line. It’s not far to the city of the great King—only the distance from your knees to the floor. It’s such a short distance, but within it lies a galactic collision of two worlds, a voyage across the sea of death, a journey into eternity.

Come

Why not join the adventure? Why not start from where you now stand?

Come to the city where sinners become saints, where loneliness becomes family. Make the choice that brings us together—you and me. Then love will fall to the earth like you’ve




Myth Become Fact

By Brent King On April 4, 2015 No Comments

resurrection-graphic-3From ancient times men have told fantasy tales. To the casual observer, these stories are so far out there that there couldn’t possibly be any truth in them. Yet the strange thing about fantasy is that it must conform to truth.

William Stafford was so convinced of this that he said, “If you live by truth any thought belongs.”

Carl Jung spent a lifetime reasoning that basic truth is embedded deep in our minds, culture, history, and myths. He believed these truths revealed themselves in what he called archetypes.

The Connection Between Fantasy and Fact

In an article in Christianity Today called Myth Matters, Louis A. Markos talks about CS Lewis and how he connected these fantasy tales, or myths, to the Truth:

“One of CS Lewis’s greatest services as an apologist was to demonstrate that




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