Law & Gospel for Writers-Redeeming

The series goes on with Part V. Today’s post is hinged more on the Gospel: redeeming!

I’m a little torn how long to let this series run. Any suggestions? I know I have readers, but you lot sure can be quiet. ūüėČ I have other announcements building up, so next week the series may not run consecutive days.

Law & Gospel for Writers, Part V: Redeeming

It is excellent to be a Lutheran writer. We get to experience the heights of heavens and the depths of despair all from reading the psalms and reading whatever we may be writing. As Lutherans, we get to portray Law and Gospel as we understand it with all the psychological twistings and growth of our characters and settings. We¬†get¬†sinners, because we¬†are¬†sinners and aren’t afraid to admit that.

We also have a more nuanced view of redeeming. Not only are we free from pursuing our own redemption, so often are our characters.

By all means, write whatever you’d like in whatever genre pleases you. I am not saying we are all cookie-cutter cartoonists dabbing equidistant chocolate chips of Gospel throughout our novels. However, I would be willing to bet that a lot of us understand that it can take some serious time and intervention for someone to change, regardless of that person’s past or tendencies. We get that things build up, sometimes as situations bottom out.

We live our whole lives in the last quarter or so of The Return of the King (which the movie pretty much left out). The enslaving power has been destroyed. The bad guy finished. Still there is so much that needs to be set right.

We leave the church doors and gasp at the destruction and abandonment in this world. We find hobbits leaving their hobbit holes and it is¬†not an improvement!¬†Evil spreads, even becoming the establishment. Even so, restoration is coming. The battle’s been won. The war finished, although some battles linger on.

Ongoing Battles

Aren’t ongoing battles what we write about? Whether enemy, doubt, loneliness, illness, etc., all of our fiction books are set in the “not yet.” But redemption is coming!

We have redeeming characters and characters in ongoing need of redemption. Great! We’ve likely experienced and been blessed by both!

I don’t mean for this to be entirely a “Rah, rah, Lutherans!” post. Except it’s so nice to have companions in arms! It’s so nice to read books from my own worldview, whether or not they are set in this world or contain full stories of redemption.

With our understanding of vocation, it is just so wonderful that we can delve into psychology, social theory, science, technology, and any other field to draw upon creation and our fellow creations to create! Thank you, Jesus!


Today, instead of questions, I’ll close with a stanza from a great Lutheran writer, Martin Franzmann:

Thou camest to our hall of death,
O Christ, to breathe our poisoned air, to drink for us the dark despair
That strangled our reluctant breath.
How beautiful the feet that trod
The road that leads us back to God! How beautiful the feet that ran
To bring the great good news to man!¬†(Lutheran Service Book¬†#834,¬†“O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth,” stanza 3):

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Good News, but I am so thankful that we can paint, picture, print, etc., the profound, far-reaching reality of redemption and our redeeming Triune God!


Filed under As Christian Writers, Theological reflection, Writer's Life

2 Responses to Law & Gospel for Writers-Redeeming

  1. David J. Susan

    This is a good, practical series on “Law/Gospel”–not only for writers, but also for preachers. (And “Yes,” it is too bad that Peter Jackson left out that whole essential part of Return of the King when the changed hobbits bring back change to the shire.) Living the Gospel of Jesus is more than ethics–but it is most definitely ethical. Thank you!

  2. Thank you, David!

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