Enjoy this thoughtful piece by R. J. Sheffler, readers:
Factors to Consider Before Including Physical Manifestations of God in Fiction
The divine is an elusive subject to capture, yet humans have been fascinated with it since the beginning of time, exploring it through poetry, stories, music, art, and various other mediums. Whether God shows up in a burning bush, as a thunderous voice accompanied by fire and lightning on a mountain, or in the humble person of Jesus Christ, incredible wonders are guaranteed to happen. Any moment that He steps into the story of humanity is powerful and purposeful.
As Christian writers, how are we to approach these visitations in a way that is both faithful and accessible? Before we tackle the how, we must answer another question: Should we even attempt to tuck theophany into our stories? We’ll be offering the world an image of God that’s outside the revelation of Scripture, after all.
Theophany is direct, physical interaction with God Himself. The problem is, we must cast Him as He actually is, removing our own opinions and impressions as much as possible. Can flawed humans even accomplish a task of such immense gravity?
I believe the answer is yes, we can. But it’s a serious undertaking requiring caution, and keeping four guidelines in mind will help us avoid distorting God’s nature.
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