Monday, October 6, 2008

But First, An Overview…

During the past year, we’ve worked our way through the power of story, struggled with the problem of the gray areas, and attempted to create boundaries that will flex with the personality and circumstances.

That has been many blogs over a long time. (If you have missed any section, I encourage you to check out the folders on the sidebar. Blogs are grouped by topic—e.g. “biblical foundation”—as well as being all gathered under “fiction guidelines.”) But before I charge ahead on special problem areas and application, it seemed like a good time to summarize what we’ve learn:

--Story is powerful and will deeply impact us because it takes up residence in our hearts, which is where our attitudes and actions come from (Matthew 15:18-19).

--Therefore, we want to fill our hearts with good stories, which consists of good craft and good content. However, few stories meet this ideal, often mixing bad craft and good content or vice versa.

--Because most stories fall in that gray zone, we need to build guidelines (not rules) to help us discern the best fiction diet for ourselves.

--There are three parts to good guidelines: a biblical foundation, physical and spiritual maturity, and personal limitations.

--A good basis for the biblical foundation is Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

--Maturity is progressive stages of growth. The four basic levels are infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Physical maturity does not equal spiritual maturity, so both must be considered.

--Personal limitations cover the remaining areas: personality (quirks, pet peeves, emotional make-up, strengths, weakness, etc.), relationships (gender, marriage status, mentor/parental positions), culture (location, occupation), and experiences. There are discovered through observation and experimentation.

We’ve covered quite a bit of ground, haven’t we? And we still much more to go…

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