Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christianity and Mythology: Daniel and the Triune Quest Blog Tour

Want to win prizes? Look for the secret word in this post and follow the Rafflecopter giveaway instructions at the end.

Hey'a, everyone! Christmas break is upon us, or nearly upon us, and that hopefully means that we all suddenly have about 5x as much time for reading as we did a week ago. Huzzah! Some of us already have a long list of books to catch up on, but for those who don't- or for those who, like me, might wonder to themselves why they can't say no to another book- I'm here to tell you about a new Middle Grade Christian fantasy release: Daniel and the Triune Quest. This book is the second in Nathan Lumbatis's Sons and Daughters series, which combines a modern setting with Aztec mythology and honestly sounds pretty cool. Better still, the author is also here with a guest post about how he decided to combine Christianity and mythology, plus there's a giveaway at the end! But first, a little about the book and author:

About the Book
The past year of Daniel’s life has been anything but normal. Adoption by his Heavenly Father? Check. Become the Vessel for the mystical Sun Sword? Check. Charged with a quest to fight the source of all evil? Check. But hey, he made it look good.

Now it’s his best friend, Ben’s, turn to become the Vessel for the Triune Shield, and Daniel’s ready to lead the charge on another adventure. But, they only have three days to find the shield before the Enemy catches up, and obtaining it will require the last thing either of the boys is ready for: self-sacrifice. Daniel must die to his pride, and Ben must pay the ultimate price. They’ll need a miracle if they hope to survive.

Find it on: Author site || Amazon || Goodreads

To learn more about the first book in the series, Daniel and the Sun Sword, feel free to check it out on Amazon or Goodreads or watch the book trailer. 

About the Author
Nathan grew up in the woods of Alabama, where he spent his time exploring, hiking, and dreaming up stories. Now, as a child/adolescent therapist and author, he’s teaching kids and teens how to redeem their stories using Biblical principles. He still lives in Alabama, where you will find him with his wife and three kids every chance he gets.​

Find Nathan on: Author Site || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram (nathan.lumbatis)

Guest Post: Christianity and Mythology

 Speculative Fiction begins by presuming the basics of a Christian worldview and then asking "What if?". One of the central What if's of Daniel and the Triune Quest, and the Sons and Daughters series as a whole, has to do with the origin of worldwide mythologies: What if every culture's myths grew out of man's fallen memory of the one true God, his plan for redemption, and the rebellion of dark angels? Wouldn't there be traces of truth and the thread of redemption in those ancient stories? 

No doubt some believe as much. For Christians, we find support for this in at least two places. According to legend, the Mazzaroth, the Jewish zodiac, was a mnemonic device for orally teaching the story of redemption since the time of Adam. It’s easy to imagine how details could be lost and altered through oral tradition passed down over the centuries, which would then be woven into myth.

Even more interesting in my mind is the fallen angel theory which most church fathers, and nearly the entire Jewish culture of the 2nd temple period (525 B.C. to 70 A.D.) believed. For those unfamiliar with this, this is the theory that fallen angels had children with mortal women, thus giving rise to “demigods.” Scriptural reference for this would be Genesis 6, Numbers 13, 2 Peter 2, Jude 4-8, among others. For an exhaustive, and terribly interesting discussion of this, I recommend you to Dr. Mike Heiser’s book, The Unseen Realm. With this view in mind, it’s no surprise that such detailed mythologies could arise throughout the world: they weren’t just imagination, but were based on eye witness accounts of supernatural beings interacting with mortals.

For nerds like me, the real fun starts when you begin looking for the roots of truth in ancient mythologies. It’s like a scavenger hunt for dorks.

So, what are we looking for? Let’s set our parameters as:
1)     An all-powerful creator-god or supernatural force
2)     A race of lesser beings; mortal and in peril
3)     A god-man who plays some sort of savior role
4)     A god or an immortal filled with evil or destructive power

Here are three myths* that fit the bill. Since the first book in the Sons and Daughters series, Daniel and the Sun Sword, took place in Peru, we’ll look at the Incan myths woven into that story first. We’ll then move on to the Indian myths included in Daniel and the Triune Quest, and then one extra mythology just for good measure.

Incan Myths
Viracocha: The Incan creator-god. After creating the natural world and the cosmos, he turned his mind to mankind. His first attempt at creating people displeased him, as the first versions were brainless giants. So, he wiped them out with a flood, and created a less barbaric race. Then, he took to wandering the world as a kindly beggar, helping those in need, and appearing in times of trouble.
Mankind: Men were created when Viracocha breathed life into stones. They were seen as his children, and he loved them as a father.
 Inti: The god of the sun and the son of Viracocha. After being sent to earth by his father, he and his sister-wife, Mama Killa, taught mankind the basics of life and founded the great city of Cuzco
Supai: The Incan god of the dead, king of the demons, and the ruler of the underworld. He was such a nasty fellow, in fact, that the Incans would sacrifice their children to appease him.

Indian Myths
Indian myths are very different from other ancient stories, in part because there is so much variation, philosophy, and moral ambiguity. More specifically, evil and good are not so clearly defined, and elements of both frequently show up in even the most revered of gods.

Because of this, you’ll notice that what appears to be the most obvious parallel, is not always the best choice.

Brahman: The ultimate, highest, universal principle and the formal cause of all that exists. It is the transcendent, unchanging, eternal truth which puts all things into motion. For those familiar with Hindu myths, Brahma would’ve been an obvious choice since he is the creator-god. However, in many creation stories, he is equal in power and authority, if not less than, his counterparts, Shiva and Vishnu. Additionally, he, himself, was created or born, and thus was not the best choice for an omnipotent originator-god role.
Mankind: Created from Brahma’s body or soul, as the first and strongest “animal.” Manu and Shatrupa are the first man and woman, who ask Lord Brahma if they can have dominion over the world. Manu is later preserved by the gods through a worldwide flood.
Purusha: The cosmic man/consciousness who was sacrificed by the gods to create all life. How does this jive with Brahma? No idea. Welcome to Hinduism.
Shiva: A strange mix of good and evil, Shiva is one of the Trimurti, alongside Brahma and Vishnu. His job is to destroy the universe at the end of each age.

Egyptian Myths
Ra: The creator and father-god in Egyptian myths. He called everything into existence by speaking its name.
Mankind: Created from Ra’s tears, they were originally brutish and rebellious. They plotted against Ra, who sent divine retribution in the form of the goddess Sekhmet.
Osiris: Divine son of Ra, and god of death, the afterlife, and resurrection. He came to earth to rule as a king and bring civilization to mankind. He was tricked and murdered by his divine brother, Set, only to later be resurrected. 
Set: Evil brother of Osiris, and the god of chaos, war, storms, deserts, and destruction.

If these legends were derivative from the true redemption story, what likely led to the obscuration of truth in these cultures? One can only speculate. In Daniel and the Sun Sword, it was the fear of Supai that led to the Inca's deception. In Daniel and the Triune Quest, it was mankind’s rejection of moral absolutes. Regardless, the truth of redemption has endured...and makes the perfect backdrop for any great story.

*For any mythology aficionados out there: I know that for any one version of a myth, there are at least two others that vary in detail. I have presented here simply those versions which parallel the redemptive thread of Christianity.

  Giveaway Time!

As you visit the tour stops, you should be collecting secret words from each post. Once you reach the last stop, combine these words into a phrase and type it into the Rafflecopter linked below in order to be entered into the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive signed copies of both books in the Suns and Daughters series, along with series bookmarks; a second winner will get a signed copy of Daniel and the Triune Quest and a bookmark. Good luck!

Enter the giveaway!

Are you excited for Daniel and the Triune Quest? Are there any other mythologies you think someone really should write a book about sometime? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
 -Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Don't forget to visit the other tour stops!Monday, December 18, 2017: Author Site
Tuesday, December 19, 2017: Light and Shadows
Wednesday, December 20, 2017: Dreams and Dragons- you are here.
Thursday, December 21, 2017: Christian Fiction Review Guru
Friday, December 22, 2017: Speculative Faith
Saturday, December 23, 2017: The Write Stuff Radio

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.