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   In the last 2 posts we’ve discussed premises, themes, facts, etc.

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   Here we will present a list of

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   Christian premises that appear in stories.

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For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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   When at the university, and I was teaching about folklore, especially folktales, I was fascinated as to why so many stories survived for centuries only by word of mouth. It was the careful recording of many of these stories, especially those by the Grimms brothers who were lawyers, that we have many of folktales we recall today. Books, of course, have been written about this–about, for example, the stories that survived usually did so because they addressed some human “felt need.” In fact Stith Thompsen’s 6-volume series which provides an “index” of “folk motifs,” except for some curious eggheads, are guaranteed to put you asleep. (“Folk” motifs? Think of several oft-repeated ones: (1) “The 3rd and youngest son emerges from the shadows to be the only one who can accomplish an important task.”  (2) “For many unqualified, but kind and faithful persons, ‘special aid’ often arrives from nowheret.” Then there’s the troublesome one: (3) “Stepmothers are evil and not to be trusted.” [The nature of a motif can be much more technically dissected, of course.]

   The suggestion of the power of long-repeated motifs (think also of themes and premises) is intriguing, but we’re not going there…

   Below is a general list of Christian premises (I call them) that I collected over the years that are drawn from the Bible. These are basically, or indirectly assumed, in a few folktales, some modern children’s and adult stories, and in stories fortunately or unfortunately branded as “Christian fiction.” They are general statements, of course which can be discussed and long argued. That’s not our point here.

   Identifying these principles can help in understanding, critiquing, or criticizing stories.

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………… Christian Premises

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    (1)  God is real and exists as one in 3 persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    (2)  Satan is real and exists as a fallen angel ruling over other fallen angels and influencing human behavior.

    (3)  God is wholly good and Satan is totally evil.

    (4)  Satan is directly or indirectly behind all evil.

    (5)  God is the creator and sustainer of the universe.

   (6)  God may be found anywhere and is in control of the universe.

   (7)  The most important thing in life is one’s relationship with God.

   (8)  While Satan wields considerable power, he will eventually be defeated.

   (9)  People are created in the image of God.

  (10)  There is life after death.

  (11)  The decisions one makes on Earth determine whether one’s destiny is in Heaven, a place of eternal happiness, or Hell, a place of eternal suffering and separation from God.

  (12)  Jesus Christ provides the only way to salvation¹.

  (13)  Truth is absolute, not relative¹.

  (14)  A successful life requires successfully serving other people.

  (15)  Christians should help others to become Christians.

  (16)  Christians have special protection and help from God, but they are not immune to suffering and pain.

  (17)  Christians should regularly read and obey the Bible, pray to God, and fellowship with other Christians.

  (18)  The Bible is God’s revelation to people, is true, and is categorically different from other books.

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     This very general list is by no means exhaustive.

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   ¹#12 and #13 are especially troublesome for some to even identify, so we will add specific comment here, and with these two only: First, stating that Jesus is the “only” way to salvation in no way requires a person to be a judge over anyone else about who is saved and who is not. Second, a belief in absolute truth in no way requires a person to identify exactly what is true and what is not.