Thursday, October 19, 2017

Let's Talk: Christ and Artistic License

Hello everyone! How is everyone doing this fine week? Are you enjoying the autumn weather?

        Today on let’s talk I want to ask the question. Is it okay to take Artistic/Poetic license when it comes to writing a representation, or including, Jesus Christ in our stories/movies?

        Now before we start let me just state that there is a difference between an Allegorical representation of Christ and Artistic licensed Christ.

Allegory means “A story, poem, or picture that can be used to reveal meaning. Or to point to something.”

Artistic license means “To denote the distortion of fact, alteration of the conventions of grammar or language, or rewording of pre-existing text made by an artist to improve a piece of art.”

Both are about making a representation of something. The difference is that one gives more room for distortion.

        As Christian writers, I think it’s safe to say (or at I hope it’s safe to say) that we want all want to have a character that represents Christ in our novel. If it’s not the literal Christ we want someone that is like Him so that it points our protagonist/reader to Him. And that’s great, I’m all for that. But I do think we can go about it the wrong way. And there is a danger in getting it wrong. But more on that in a moment.

        I think, and I hope you will agree, that As Christian writers we should do our absolute best to represent Christ right. Because for all we know an unbeliever will pick up our book. And if we are making a poor representations of Christ, or ones that are just wrong, we are making idols based off Christ and could be leading others astray.

        I know, that’s a bold statement. But when you think about it, anything less than a prefect representation of Christ/God is an idol. 

Well then how do you suggest I represent Him perfectly in my writing? Do I have to just copy and paste verse where Jesus is talking into my novel? Because if that is what you are saying it’s almost impossible because that will throw off the flow of my novel! I mean come on DUDE!

 No I'm not saying you have to copy and paste verse. I do think when it comes to writing a Christ representation in our novels that it should be done in an allegorical way. Not in an artistic license kind of way.

So why the allegorical way?

The reason I think it should be done in the allegorical way is because doing it in the allegorical way means that you’ll have to study who God/Christ is. It means you’ll have to dive into your Bible to research what it was He meant when He said something. It means you’ll have to cross-reference it with other passages to get the full meaning. It means you’ll have to look at everything He said and did. And by doing that you’ll gain a better understanding of who Christ/God is. That way your allegory will be discriminately pointing back to Christ. So no matter who your reader is they’ll know who this Character represents. I’ve seen this done quite well a few times within books. But not really in movies. From what I’ve seen in movies they like artistic license best.

So why NOT the artistic license way?

Oh, that’s an easy one to answer. Because it creates false gods/idols that are based off Christ. I’ve seen this a lot in books and movies. It’s where the author/writer doesn’t know what Jesus really said/meant but thinks that they know the basic idea and that’s good enough. Kind like my lest favorite part in the Narnia movie “voyage of the dawn treader”

Man, that is BAD! Straight up heresy right there. But that is artistic license for you. Never did God or Jesus Christ say anything even remotely resembling that but because artistic license was taken it mean it doesn’t really matter because it’s a distortion meant to improve the art.

Wait! How is that bad?! That is literally the best part of the whole movie!

Well it’s bad because it’s saying that (according to the movie/books) Christ will let you into heaven if you have a noble heart (I.E a strong passion about something). Let’s see who else did I know that had strong passions about things… hummmmmm...

I'm not saying Hitler is in Heaven, but under that logic anything is possible. And under artistic license that kind of logic fly’s, even though Christ never said anything like that, because artistic license was taken on Christ.

Now does that mean I think you can never use artistic license? Of course not. I use it all the time when I draw or when I write. In fact, anytime someone writes fantasy they use artistic license. Because they are distorting the world as we known it. And let me tell you, fantasy is one of my favorite genres.

So, artistic license does have a place for the Christian writer. But I don’t think it should be used when it comes to writing representations of Christ. But what do you think? Let me know down below.

Remember my one year blog anniversary/face reveal/Q&A is coming up soon, if you could drop some (really good/hard) questions right here in this Googlely thing that would be a big HELP!

Oh! And before I go I also did my first guest post right HERE- You can go and check out my typos there if you so wish. And until next time, Stay True to the King!


  1. Wow, great post! You've raised some good points, and definitely given me something to think about! :D I'll have to take a look at my own writing now, and make sure I'm not using artistic license in ways I shouldn't (I don't think I am, but it doesn't hurt to make sure ;P).

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Marrok! :)

    1. Thanks Karyssa! That's the whole point of these let's talk's to raise questions and get that thought train moving!

      I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I think this is an amazing way to look at the truth. We should never try to distort who Christ was and what He did. Great post! :D


    1. Thanks Ivie! And an amen to that! The only thing I would chance is "who" to "is" but that's me just being a pest :D

  3. Great post Marrok! I totally agree with this. Thank you for writing :)

    1. Thank you Ash! what you didn't find any typos this time? I'm sure I left some in there for you :P

  4. I agree - especially with the need for everyone (not just writers! :D) to really dig into God and His Word so we may represent Him righteously - in our writing and in our lives.
    Good post!

    1. Hey Rae! Yes I think it that is important for every Christian to do that. I mean it isn't just writers. But I feel as writers sometimes we can forget that as we get cough up in all the emotions of writing. Thanks Rae!

  5. Wow this was an INCREDIBLE post. You really dug down into the nitty gritty and addressed so many relevant issues. Very good post Marrok!

  6. I agree! Great post Marrok!
    So many movies or books take their artistic license and go over the top and miss the whole point of what they should really be portraying to others.
    They usually go with that whom is pure in heart, or as you quoted from Narnia, noble of heart. :/

    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thank you Tiffany! Yes they do, and it's quite saddening. Because if they just gave it a little more research it could have been a whole lot better. But then again we live in a fallen world so this kind of thing can be expected.

  7. So since you quoted Narnia I have to ask... do you think that the way Aslan is portrayed in the books is an artistic license or an allegory? Also, isn't Reepicheep's heart noble BECAUSE he believes in Aslan?


    1. Hey! It's Anonymous the GREY!!! It's been a while, how have you been? How's life been?

      I would most likely say it is artistic license because Aslan is a Lion and Jesus is a Man, big difference between lions and men.

      I don't know. What makes a heart noble depends on what side of what you stand on. I mean there was a pagan pirate in the books that made it to heaven for his passionate belief in his pagan gods.
      It's good to have you back Anonymous the Grey!

    2. I've been good but busy, thanks for asking. ;)

      Yeah there is, but Jesus is also called the Lion of Judah...

      It's been a while since I've read the books. Who was the pirate?

    3. That's good :)

      Yes He is, But remember they used stuff like that as symbolism. While in Aslan is supposed to be, and I'm just quoting the movie here, not a "teamed lion" where Jesus was meek. Not weak but full power under control.

      Now I'm not saying Narnia is bad as just a book or movie for enjoyment. In fact I really enjoy watching the movies during winter. But when people try to pull spiritual lessons from the above mentioned quote (and other such things from the books) then that is where I take issue.

      I don't know, I think he was some Talmarine pirate.


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