I’m not going to belabor the point about the dangers of the Internet. It’s a moot point. No sense resuscitating the argument about the supposed digital destruction of our world…. Whether or not you believe that, the entire point is that the digital age is here to stay and it’s changing everything. We all know this, but we don’t know what it means. One of the meanings is undoubtedly the loss of more souls into these deeper and deeper subworlds directly opposed to the cause of Christianity. If we want to remain “relevant” and up with the times, we need to take these matters seriously. There is no longer any excuse for some of the blatant ignorance showcased as “Evangelical thinking”—a term derided as an oxymoron by the majority of the free world. Any dissent there?
My purposes in highlighting hypertext are to open our minds to another tool and example of some cutting edge opportunities for Christians to show some mental prowess and spiritual insight. Take a look at this excellent source created in part by Michael Joyce, the most-recognized hypertext author to date. And no, you don’t have to be able to read binary code or understand the nuances of chaos theory to reap the rewards of ponderficating about these intermesting word usements.
But let’s move on. We’ve got places to go. How exactly does hyperfiction relate to our call of being salt and light with our writing? I can think of many ways, but maybe most importantly, hyperfiction demonstrates the principles at work within the universe, the great order in the seeming disorder we see all around us. Here’s an interesting article that holds up C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters as an example of process theology, commenting on the advantage such a perspective lends to Christian writers. A deeper search into the concept of process philosophy reveals an interesting tenet: “God is not exactly of the world of physical reality, but does indeed participate in it processually–everywhere touching, affecting, and informing its operations.” Lewis unknowingly created an example of process theology in his depiction of God in that early work. Our appreciation of his work grows once we appreciate the spiritual nuances and logic behind it. In the same way, hyperfiction is an opportunity to appreciate more fully how God works. Do you follow?
In essence, everything in our known universe is ultimately an indication of God. As writers, we’re all given pieces to illuminate, or “portals” to invite others into. The cutting edge of science today is reflective of the ancient beliefs within Judeo-Christian traditions. It’s not a myth. It’s demonstrable fact.
And that excites me. It’s the connections between seemingly unrelated things that entices me to dedicate more to becoming an “approved workman” who need not be ashamed. An energetic thinker, rightly dividing the word of truth. An expert marksman, trusting the armor of God to keep my feet balanced and my sights true. A craftsman who need not fear treading into dark places to expose and comprehend the blackness not foreign to men.
Those who dare to suggest God would not have us associate with the world He called us to serve, do so in ignorance. They need waking up too. And my contention is that we will never reach them unless we get in the game.
But the greater understanding we have for the interconnectedness of all things, the greater reality we can awake in our readers who come up to our stories gasping for the clean air of truth, hoping against hope for anything that might disprove the despair gnawing at their souls.
It’s up to you, people. I submit to you that there’s no greater assignment than this: than to write down the interconnected truth of life for your readers.