I. A Book With Many a Parable: Would a Non-Christian Write This?
I’m writing this in response to a recent statement made about my book Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure. The reviewer wrote that “It could have been written by a Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Jew, Roman Catholic (etc).”
“It’s even possible,” he added, “though not likely,” that a witch could have written it.
This review, although polite, contains a very pointed message, one which I may not lightly ignore.
Although the reviewer admits that it’s “not likely” a witch could have written this book, I truly wonder where he gets that idea. I personally find it hard to believe that a witch could get halfway through it without gagging on the messages it portrays (especially the theme of forgiveness). I’m pretty sure their idea of “karma” or bad versus good energy doesn’t involve forgiveness. As for the idea of God empowering a kid from a broken home, what would a Mormon think of that? I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking.
Could a Mormon have written this book? How about a Jehovah’s Witness? Could a witch or shaman have come up with these ideas? If so, then why? Perhaps you belong to one of those groups and consider yourself a Christian. If so, I welcome your input – though I’d love to know how you define the term “Christian.”
This brings me to another quandary I have. To quote the above reviewer, “The Speed of Sight Superhero Adventure is for younger children.” He called it “nonsense fantasy.” Well, perhaps it is nonsense for those who fail to grasp the symbols contained in parables. To aid in understanding them, I have provided the following “cliff” notes.
(Pardon the spoiler alerts)
I. First Parable
To start with, the comic books stand for scripture taken in its purest form. As most well-read scholars know, the original languages tended to get lost in translation. To get the full picture, we must look deeper. This may involve digging into root words to discover the meaning behind the original Hebrew or Greek. Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’m sure, will back me up on this point, even though I disagree with their particular Bible version. Roman Catholics might also agree with me, though they might interpret some passages differently than I do.
I have no problem with that. After all, this isn’t their test. It’s mine. Is my book Christian “enough”? Does it line up with the Bible? As all well-read Bible scholars know, the Holy Spirit guides us in to all truth regarding scripture (see John 14:26). This brings me to my second point.
II. Second Parable
The dove in this book is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe any Christian who knows his/her Bible can miss this. Who hasn’t read the account of John baptizing Jesus in the Jordan? The Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove. That’s why the dove is everywhere in this book, guiding the hero into all truth. And though I don’t mention the word “Trinity,” I do describe it. One scene shows Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together to purify the sinners, though I use the term “dirt” instead of “sin.”
III. Third Parable
The comic book author endows His readers with superpowers. I ask you, what else could that mean but “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . . unto the uttermost part of the earth.”? (Acts 1:8) Powers in this case refers to the miracles or “greater works” Jesus said His followers would do (John 14:12). This includes casting out demons (see Mark 16:17), which the hero does using the Jesus figure’s name (see John 14:13).
Pardon my King James, but I don’t believe God ever meant for those miracles to stop. Yes, I am a practicing continuationist, not a cessationist. So is the main character in my book, who struggles to embrace the comics his hometown government has banned.
By the way, I’ve never met a Jehovah’s Witness who believes in continuationism – or a die-hard Baptist either. Christians who are cessationists will probably dislike my book. Wiccans, shamans, however, might enjoy its supernatural aspects. I doubt they’d approve of my making all the ghostly creatures bad, though. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Which brings me to. . .
IV. Fourth Set of Parables
Parable four is all about what Jesus does for us, based on Isaiah 61:1-3. He, the author and finisher of our faith (see Hebrews 12:2) came to give his mourners three things:
beauty in place of ashes;
the oil of joy instead of mourning;
the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness.
You don’t always see the Jesus figure doing all these things, but He’s the one who fills the sad boy with joy he can’t explain. It comes out as laughter, which is Biblical by the way. Psalm 2:4 speaks of God laughing at the wicked. Why does He laugh at them? Because they think that somehow they can outwit Him. As Pete joins in the laughter – to him it is pure joy – the spirit of heaviness lifts off him. It’s like the garment of praise.
What’s the result? Super powers that help him overcome the “power of gravity” (the law) as represented by his restrictive orthopedic shoes. But he has much to learn when it comes to throwing off dead weights (evil spirits) that hinder (see Hebrews 12:1-2). The trials he endures while learning to walk (and run) in grace help him to mature. His adventure has begun, but it isn’t over yet. That’s why I’ve planned a sequel.
So, now that I’ve explained the basic elements in this book (hope it’s not too much of a spoiler alert), I hope you have a better understanding of this book and what it means. If it interests you, feel free to check it out and let me know what you think. If you like it, feel free to post a review online.
In my opinion, it’s better for older children, as some elements may be too scary for younger ones. I have yet to receive needed feedback from the age group for which this book is intended, which leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage here. But I trust the Lord to work it out for good.