Back in my first post I listed Percy Jackson as one of my fandoms, but I only had a couple of thoughts to share about the series. First of all: the second movie was really bad. Please Olympians of Hollywood don’t let them make another sequel.
Rick Riordan’s book series is based around the premise that the Greek and Roman and Egyptian and Norse gods are all real. Characters pray to these gods, and make graven images of them, and sacrifice to them. Pretty non-Christian stuff.
I remember having The Conversation about this with my mother when I first read the books. She asked me what value I found in them. I couldn’t really answer her, because back then I didn’t know how to find Christian-compatible value in fiction and fandoms as well as I do now.
Today I would point out all the good things the books promote: loyalty to friends; courage in the face of insurmountable odds; and of course “good defeating evil.” Ah, that gem that Christian nerds/geeks can pull out of almost any fandom and say, see? We’re allowed to watch/read/enjoy this.
I briefly mentioned Harry Potter last week. We can use this defense for that story too, if we can get over the witchcraft stuff. I’ll probably come back to Harry Potter in the future.
Even the Christian radio drama Adventures in Odyssey has made episodes and entire story arcs where the only moral is “good defeating evil.” It’s an important moral. With all the real-world tragedy, it’s good for us to have stories where the good guys win. Christians can see these stories as an analogy for how the story of the entire world will end. All the evil in the world will be defeated. All things work together for good.
When the good guys lose in stories like Hannibal or Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, geeks appreciate the twist in the normal story. And they’re not exactly bad from a Christian perspective. We can’t get mad at everything for not reflecting the Bible. That’s an unrealistic standard for our fiction.
Besides, there are many stories within the Bible that seem to end with the good guys losing. But the bad guys are going to have some small victories if there is ever going to be redemption and salvation. It’ll all be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end!