Ways to glorify God in worldbuilding

Forums Fiction Research and Worldbuilding Ways to glorify God in worldbuilding

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  • #117218
    Eitan
    @eitan

      Month and a half ago I posted a topic about how can I glorify God in mere worldbuilding, if at all. Time passed, I slowly starting my project, and as I think about the issue, I find new ways to glorify God in worldbuilding, Posting here so you (although are primarily writers, not worldbuilders) can use it – and just to share, and maybe get feedback. If you find more ways, please share!

       

      I’m currently working on my world’s astronomy – like, the distance between Earth and the Sun, moon months, and such – and I realized that unless I copy our solar system’s stats (Sun type, distance between the Sun and Earth, moon size, and so on), I have a good chance to create a universe that will collapse, or an Earth that is by no means habitable or Earth-like. Thankfully, I’m not an astrophysicist and will likely not notice any problem. What you don’t know, doesn’t hurt πŸ˜‰

      I wrote it all in the ”chapter” I’m working on, and added that the conditions for an habitable Earth require an incredible fine tuning we as worldbuilders can’t achieve, so we just have to assume things work. Since I’ll post the project in a (mostly) secular platform… Well, we’ll see πŸ™‚

      (Maybe it will open a discussion that will allow me to present a case for the gospel… I don’t know, and the note is so tiny that it will not be preachy, and will not accomplish the opposite and keep people away from the project).

       

      As Christians, we should explain historical events in two ways – the ”Lower Why” – the technical reasons for an event to occur – and the ”Higher Why” – the spiritual reasons. For example – the Protestant Reformation. One can correctly state the reasons were political (princes were glad to take the Catholic church’s properties, and to stop paying taxes to Rome), and that the match that set everything on fire was the trade in indulgences and Luther’s 95 theses.

      But, as Christians who know God works all the time, we know that the conditions were suitable to a Reformation, and that the ”match” was a Biblical Christianity revival (and not a new heretic cult – theoretically, it was possible), only because God shaped the history this way, to restore the Biblical Christianity.

      We can use the same principle in worldbuilding our imaginary histories. Never say ”they were godly, so they won”. Rather, show how ”in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

      The knight did become king because he was a clever general and a wise diplomat, but the reason this knight became king, and not another wise, clever person, is because the knight was godly and God has chosen him for the role (yes, I copy king David’s story πŸ˜‰ ). The battle was won by the godly, because besides a genius plan, they depended on God, unlike their cunning worldly enemies, and so, God made the weather to be in the godly’s favor.

       

      Now, we can also use worldbuilding to – as subtly and non-preachy as possible, of course – criticize things. For example, there are plenty of legalistic religions that teach salvation through strange practices and customs (Orthodox Judaism, to some extent), good works (Some Christian sects), or clear sins (Islam’s Jihad).

      Without resembling any real world religion too much – maybe copy things here and there, but never to the point where people say, ”Ah, it’s Islam with a Norse setting!” – we can create imaginary false religions, and show in our worldbuilding their damages. Corruption, wars, slavery, spread of diseases due to unhealthy practices, there are enough real world examples to be ”inspired” by. Though worldbuilding them too in-depth isn’t good either.

       

      Those are just a few examples that came to my mind, I’m sure there are plenty more.

       

      Your thoughts?

      You don't need to see the wind itself in order to hear the rustling leaves.

      #117332
      Gracie
      @kimlikesart

        Where I am not building a world, I have been building a culture.

        As Christians, we should explain historical events in two ways – the ”Lower Why” – the technical reasons for an event to occur – and the ”Higher Why” – the spiritual reasons.

        That’s a very good point. Thanks!

        we can create imaginary false religions, and show in our worldbuilding their damages.

        Another good idea/point. (:

        Jominkreesa

        Passion means to be willing to suffer.

        #118619
        Gracie
        @kimlikesart

          @eitan

          I have my first idea for a Fantasy novel!! (Yey!)

          Your world/galaxy/universe, I have the feeling will end up Much better than mine. (: But, do you have any basic pointers/ideas on how to start building a world?

          Jominkreesa

          Passion means to be willing to suffer.

          #118731
          Eitan
          @eitan

            @kimlikesart

            I don’t work on it currently… Time and stuff. I’ll continue when I know for sure I can invest time and brain cells in it.

            But, do you have any basic pointers/ideas on how to start building a world?

            Umm… It depends on what kind of world are you about to create. Generally, writing worlds don’t ave to be too complicated and developed – as long as something won’t enter the story, you don’t have to invent it in the first place.

            Not only that, you can have bad worldbuilding and still have a good story – though I won’t recommend it, because it’s mere laziness in my eyes… Some really successful book series, like Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire (which I by no means recommend reading, but is really successful, and is artistically excellent) and, in some sense, even the Lord of the Rings, have holes (small to huge) in their worldbuilding – But since nobody came there to read about worlds, but about people and their epic stories, it didn’t bother most of the readers.

            For writing-worlds, I’d recommend SE’s worldbuilding questionnaire – it does the job really good, and is totally enough for writing-worlds.

             

            If, however, you want your world to stand on its own, besides the story, or you just want to have some fun worldbuilding imaginary universes…

            Disclaimer: I’m only a beginner, so take my advice with a grain of salt, and if needed, go check out resources.

            I’d recommend you to first think about the metaphysics of the world – of course God and morality are the same, but maybe there, He created 7 angels, of whom 6 have rebelled, and only one has stayed faithful? Does your world has any magic system(s)? If so, what is it?

            I’d recommend SE’s questionnaire for metaphysics. They covered it really good, and I have nothing to add.

            Once you have the metaphysics, think about the physics. What sort of world do you want to build? Is it going to be real-universe-like, based on scientific principles? If so, will it be similar to modern day Earth? Will it be more like the pre-Flood world? Maybe you want to create an oceanic planet, covered by water, and inhabited by a mermaid-like race and strange marine creatures and monsters? Or will you create an apocalyptic world, where – due to meteorological conditions you can simulate in worldbuilding – hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur on a daily basis? Or maybe your world isn’t going to stand in any scientific criteria at all, and will be flat, with flying islands and oceans of mist?

            There, things start getting really fun… If you worldbuild a real-universe-like world, I’d recommend a YouTube channel calledΒ Artifexian. He’s evolutionist, but since we have the same evidences on both sides, he’s still really helpful – just ignore some of his counsels that are irrelevant for Christians. He covered almost every possible topic (from galaxies to earth-like planets to climates – he still doesn’t have ecology and stuff, but I believe he’ll have someday).

            If your world has a magic system that might effect it’s physical conditions – Here’s the place to enter it. You can even decide that things work in a certain way just because magic, and it will work perfectly fine – floating islands don’t need a scientific explanation. Maybe your world has a magical gas flying in it’s atmosphere, that causes certain things? Magic can exist in a real-universe-like world, you’ll just have to explain why things occur, and how – that’s at least what I believe.

            Climates, geography, plate tectonics, ecological systems, rivers, all are included here. Each of them deserves a paragraph of its own, but I won’t talk too much. If you need any help with something, feel free to ask πŸ™‚

            Once you have the world, think about its human (or mermaid?) history. You should begin with a story of a perfect world that falls (you can copy the real-world story, or change things – maybe the fall happened only after there were many people on Earth?). What happened then? What natural (and supernatural) events affected the human history?

            Again, history is a long and complicated subject… Feel free to ask for help in specific topics πŸ™‚

            I hope it all was useful… I didn’t cover almost anything, I know, but there’s so much to talk about, I’m sure I can’t cover everything in one post.

            You don't need to see the wind itself in order to hear the rustling leaves.

            #118736
            Zee
            @zee

              Wow, you’ve put a whole lot of thought and time into this, @eitan. I’m impressed.

              #118738
              Gracie
              @kimlikesart

                Wow @eitan .

                That was amazingly helpful. Thank you!

                Mermaids

                Hmm….. *at first thinks it is definitely not to happen*…*then ideas come*….*mermaids might have a rather large part now*…

                I will do what you suggest! So many good pointers…

                Thank you again!

                Jominkreesa

                Passion means to be willing to suffer.

                #118761
                Eitan
                @eitan

                  @zee Thank you!


                  @kimlikesart
                  You’re welcome!

                  • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Eitan.

                  You don't need to see the wind itself in order to hear the rustling leaves.

                  #118763
                  Daeus Lamb
                  @daeus-lamb

                  @eitan I love Artifaxian, but he’s normally over my head. πŸ˜‚ Can you manage to keep up with him?

                  πŸ˜€
                  πŸ‘•πŸ‘
                  πŸ‘– 🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒

                  #118887
                  Eitan
                  @eitan

                    @daeus-lamb Uhh… I don’t think I understood you. I guess it’s my English. Can you ask again, please?…

                    You don't need to see the wind itself in order to hear the rustling leaves.

                    #118921
                    Daeus Lamb
                    @daeus-lamb

                    @eitan Yeah. By “over my head” I meant it is sometimes too advanced for me to follow. I was asking if you were able to understand all his minute points any better.

                    πŸ˜€
                    πŸ‘•πŸ‘
                    πŸ‘– 🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒

                    #118974
                    Eitan
                    @eitan

                      @daeus-lamb Uh πŸ˜… Yeah, I usually keep up with him.

                      You don't need to see the wind itself in order to hear the rustling leaves.

                      #119270
                      Gracie
                      @kimlikesart

                        @lonathecat

                        Because I thought you might find this interesting. (:

                        Jominkreesa

                        Passion means to be willing to suffer.

                        #119288
                        Lona
                        @lonathecat

                          @kimlikesart

                          Oooh yes, I do find it interesting! Thanks for the tag! πŸ™‚

                          So, first off, I see where you’re (Eitan) coming from with the having good things work out for the Godly aspect, but I also think it can also work really well in the opposite direction. Like the righteous are the persecuted, instead of the champions and the kings. It opens up a great space for discussion about perseverance and faith under fire so to speak.

                          And one other thing; the Islamic jihad is not that different from the Christian crusades. I don’t disagree with you, the jihad is sinning, but so long as we’re calling it out, might as well call ourselves out as well. πŸ˜€

                           

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