The Church of Fandom
Leslie Loftis

It is important to speak to people in words they can understand, and use familiar stories to do it. But to tell the plot of Man of Steel and not crack open the original, true story from which it draws is a huge mistake. Unfortunately I see a lot of lavish praise for such stories and how “Christian” they are, but that is the extent of the interaction between fiction and reality. As I see it, using fandoms to communicate a Christian message can be enriching, drawing people into the truth and knowledge they heretofore had been unfamiliar with, or it can drain Christianity of its depth, leaving only a shallow pool of the most basic and vague stories for fans to dabble in. In short: it can superficialize the faith. And Lord knows, we have enough of that *within* the church.

You are quite right to say that Bible stories don’t meet “child appropriate” standards. But they don’t meet secular standards, either. They require effort, real effort, to discern and come to terms with. They are difficult. They often don’t match our initial conceptualizations of a “loving God,” and anyone who’s had a brush with atheist’s opinions on the God of Bible has questions. So, what to do? I’d love to see a “fandom” approach to the “Amalekite genocide,” for example, but I won’t hold my breath.