It’s day one of the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy blog tour, and once again our featured author is Donita K. Paul. And once again, the book, One Realm Beyond in this case, has dragons in it. And for some people, dragons are a problem, and not just because of the smell of dragon poo on your kitchen floor.
In the Biblical book of Revelation, the Dragon is not on our side. He’s a symbol of Satan’s power. And in Catholic churches across the land we can see Biblical representation of St. Michael the Archangel (defend us in battle…) slaying a dragonish-looking Satan.
The question is: are dragons like elves, dwarves, gryphons and other legendary characters, that we can fictionalize at will? Creatures that we can turn into good guys, bad guys, or both?
Or are dragons like demons and Satan himself— evil things that we cannot morally turn into good-guy characters for the sake of a work of fiction?
In the actual text of the Bible, the English word ‘dragon’ isn’t used. Get out your Strong’s Concordance and you’ll see that the Hebrew word is Strong’s # 8577, tanniym (dragon, sea monster), and the Greek word— the one used in Revelation— is 1404, drakon (a fabulous kind of serpent, dragon).
You can see that these words could be used to describe a demonic-dragon. But what about ordinary and natural monsters and sea monsters that many believed existed in those times? They could be described by such words, too. As could dinosaurs of various types.
We all understand that dinosaurs were not demonic creatures. And creatures like whales, sharks and the like that made ancient sailors believe in sea monsters were not demonic creatures.
And both in the Eastern culture and the Western one we have legends of dragons as a mythical or fabulous beast. In the Western world dragons weren’t very nice creatures— no more than the Midgard-serpent of Norse mythology is a creature you’d invite to a nice dinner party— but even the Western dragons weren’t exactly demonish in our folklore.
My own conclusion is that we can have both fictional natural dragons which we can depict as non-demonic creatures, and the Biblical, demonic Dragon. Just as we can believe that there are good angels and fallen angels in the real world.
The important thing is that we not confuse the two types of dragon, and in all the dragonish fiction I’ve read, this doesn’t seem to be done even be clueless non-Christian authors. If a dragon is nice enough to be your friend, he’s not going to claim to be the book of Revelation dragon, misunderstood.
As a Catholic myself, I’d like to point out that good dragons can be written by faithful and well-informed Catholic authors, such as Vern the Dragon from Greater Treasures by Karina Fabian. So, therefore, when we learn Christian (but non-Catholic) author Donita K. Paul has a habit of writing about dragons, we need not fear. We just need to read, and judge for ourselves.
One Realm Beyond – http://www.amazon.com/One-Realm-Beyond-Walkers/dp/0310735807/
Author Website – http://www.donitakpaul.com/
Blog tour participants (please visit them!)
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Donita K. Paul