Search This Blog

Friday, April 17, 2009

Prophets and Wizards

Travis Perry read my last post on is Sorcery and Magic Evil and had a valid comment which I wanted to expand upon. Here's what he said:
I disagree with one basic point you make. A Biblical prophet is not really characterized as someone who prays for a miracle and gets it. Of course, this sort of thing DID happen for the prophets, sometimes. But far more often, a prophet is described as having “the word of the Lord” come upon him. Far more often, the prophet is called to preach to the people, make an announcement, or perform a symbolic act.
Prophets aren’t really about the miraculous, actually. A number of Bible prophets have zero miracles ascribed to them. All heard the word of the Lord (unless this itself is seen as a miracle).
Now if in Christian Fantasy we were to portray wizards in this way, as masters of the “Deep Magic” in that they are at it’s command, rather than the other way around, if we wrote wizards in alternate worlds who must do acts of good at certain times or make announcements at certain times, COMPELLED to do so by the power of obviously-symbolic- for-God’s- power-magic, then we’d have fictional wizards for all practical purposes the same as a Biblical prophet. (And I think such wizards would be interesting to read about.)

Thanks for posting, Travis. You do have a point there which I agree with. In that it isn't a one-to-one correlation. At least, as you note, how wizards tend to be depicted. The main point I was making is that the source of the ability comes from the same place, whether we are talking about a wizard or a prophet. It just tends to be more overtly stated as such with the prophet for the reason you mention.

I think there are two levels here that are valid concerning a wizard who recognizes that their power comes from God, as opposed to the "evil" wizard who sees his power wrongly coming from another entity including possibly himself (or herself if we throw witches into it).

First, there is "magic" that would be no different than any other "talent" or energy that we might have and can control ourselves. Electricity would be one such example. It can be used for good or bad, and the one using it is either in God's control which means they would tend to use it according to His will, whatever that might be. Otherwise they use it for themselves, their power, and use it for evil. It tends to be the kind most often portrayed in fantasy stories, like Harry Potter, but simply doesn't exist in real life.

This is for those out there who think Harry Potter or others have some relation to the real-life occult: there is no such thing as a person born with the innate ability to harness a magical energy existing in the world. In the real world, there is no such magical energy like there is electricity by which someone born with the right genes (who doesn't exist) could use it to create "magic."

Such magic is a fantasy, and that's why those stories are labeled as fantasy. Unless someone plays a trick, you will not find Harry Potter's stories in the non-fiction-occult section of your bookstore or library. It's in the fantasy section for a very good reason. Such wizards as are depicted in a story like Harry Potter simply cannot exist in the real world. One shouldn't have to say that, but so many act like real-life occult is being communicated in those stories, and it is impossible.

The other kind of supernatural energy that could be depicted is more real world. That is, there is a spiritual world created by God as well that most of us never see. In it, evil spirits have some level of power and ability. So do angels. In either case, that all comes from God. But the corruption of God's energy by demons and evil spirits is sometimes given to humans, and they can appear to do magic and miracles.

It is this corrupted power of God being used for evil purposes which is condemned in the Bible. It is this same power, but uncorrupted, that the prophets are given by God. And I agree, a wizard with this type of power, as opposed to or along side of the above traditional fantasy wizard/witch power, would be interesting.

Which is why I created the character Josh in my stories, Sisko's friend who becomes a wizard. He has the standard fantasy type power mentioned first, but he also has another power that makes him the "most powerful wizard of all," and that is God's power working through him. And he can only use that power to bring people to repentance (or attempt to do so), not to destroy them.

You get a little taste of that in Transitional Realities that just came out. In the next book, already written and I'm currently editing, you get more of his history and how he became so all powerful and the "calling," if you will, he receives as a result. Something to look forward to.

But yes, traditionally wizards are not often directly controlled by God as a prophet would be. My only point of comparison is where the power comes from is exactly the same in the end. But glad you pointed that out, Travis, and allowed me the chance to further delineate that.

No comments:

Post a Comment