Thirst for the Supernatural - by Karri Compton

This post was written by Karri Compton.

Thirst for the Supernatural

Most of us, unless we’re dogged humanists or atheists, believe in something that is beyond ourselves. We rationally theorize, or perhaps fully believe in the unseen (albeit unfathomable) reality that exists beyond our natural sight.

After all, God created man in His own image, and God has the most expansive, creative imagination ever. Who of us could have conceptualized an iota of the detail that pervades our earth, solar system, and galaxy? Nuclei with neutrons and electrons spinning about them to produce matter, DNA, black holes, fission, gravity, animal instinct, procreation--you name it, God thought of it first.

Without reverting back to the late 80’s and the demon-behind-every-rock era, I’d like to see more speculation on the supernatural from biblical worldview fiction. Peretti started it, but we need not repeat his plots and methods. Ideas are as numerous as the stars. At the least, new supernatural themes will make people think. At the most, they will change lives forever.

But how do we portray the supernatural? After all, it’s something most of us can’t see, feel, hear or touch. Traditionally, stories of spiritual warfare involved angels and/or demons. But this only scratches the surface.

Two other ways the supernatural has been revealed to people in the Bible are through dreams and visions. Some of the dreamers in the Bible include Jacob, Joseph, Solomon and Daniel. God even gave dreams to non-believers in order to gain glory for Himself (Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh). Visions are recorded a myriad of times in the Bible as well, usually given to prophets or apostles in warning to God’s people or to send the recipient to a certain people group.

Authors such as Brandilyn Collins, Robert Whitlow, T.L. Hines, Mark Andrew Olsen, Melanie Wells, John Aubrey Anderson write characters who experience these.

One of my short stories features a twenty-five-year-old girl who has inherited a pocket watch with extraordinary powers from her grandfather. It helps her see into the past in order to establish a relationship with her estranged father. Odd, yes. Impossible? I think not. And in fiction, we can do almost anything while entertaining and weaving in important themes.

I think it’s important as Christians to introduce non-believers to and remind ourselves of the unseen. As Elisha prayed for his servant to see the chariots of fire surrounding their enemies, so we can point others to God with stories that show something fantastic, something that only God can do, something normally unseen.

I’m not a great idea-creating person, but the Creator is, and I keep praying He will give me and others a vision for the supernatural and how we can make it more appealing to our readers.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18


cyn said...

This is my first trip here since before Christmas. With all the recent author interviews, I have to wonder if the above isn't your own motivation for writing.

Your point has always been a powerful artery, pulsing through my mind's motivation file. It's one of the reasons I've always seen spec-fic as such a powerful tool for Biblical fiction. Much of the secular sci-fi I'd read in my youth featured Atheistic themes, and I thought, WHY AREN'T CHRISTIAN AUTHORS DOING THIS?

I'd read Daniel I. Weaver's review of Waking Lazarus, and just finished the book last week. I wish I'd gotten to it in time for the T.L. Hines blog tour. I loved it. In fact I much prefer Hines style and voice over Peretti. This guy can write. You'll find the rest of the authors you listed on the LGG recommended reading page, when it gets uploaded.

Complete creativity over setting and characters, I believe, is the best tool for presenting the spiritual dimension's reality.

Frank Creed

Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful introduction to your own story.

The supernatural has traditionally be relegated to the secular. I used to read them all--the Sentinel, Amityville Horror. The dark ages, before they invented fire.

Perhaps Christian Authors have been working on this in secret and their time has come. We'll see.

Great post, Karri!

Andrea Graham said...

I love the supernatural, maybe too much. It shows up in all my stories to one extent or another, though Adam sometimes makes me take it out and squeeze God into genre-specific expectations (for instance, if I suddenly insert the supernatural into the second-to-last-chapter of a teen romance set in the 90s) Of course, in my original , it was a grandma and grandpa telling the grandkids a story about 40,50 years in the future when the lights go out and all the kids' toys and games are suddenly useless. Adam made me take that aspect out of the story. Said it didn't work (maybe if I hadn't written the frame in first person, present tense....)

I know, I was horrible. I have reformed my experimenting ways, I promise. Had to if I wanted published.