This month, CFRB presents Leaps of Faith, an anthology edited by Karina and Robert Fabian. Like all anthologies, it has strengths and weaknesses, so I thought I'd single out the stories I thought particularly good.
"High Hopes for the Dead" by Alex Lobdell starts the anthology, and it manages to be neither sappy nor grim in exploring a true leap of faith in an apparently hopeless situation.
"The Smile" by Greg Beatty is the second story and the first of two by Beatty. Some will not like the assumption that the Big Bang actually occurred. It doesn't bother me, because I consider the Big Bang a fact of science rather than history. (Not nonsense, believe it or not.) Anyway, the idea is ingenious, and Beatty's mild cynicism about the result is remarkably realistic.
Beatty also wrote "God's Gift," about a very practical application of Christianity to interstellar travel. Again a novel idea, somewhat reminiscent of something that has cropped up in some secular sci-fi (including at least one short story by Asimov), but with a uniquely Christian tweak.
"Tampering with God’s Time" by Karina L. Fabian addresses the all-too-human desire to put facts ("the letter of the Law") ahead of Truth ("the Spirit who gives Life"). Though Truth generates facts and may be confirmed by facts, mere information cannot transform or save, and it is the underlying Truth we must seek.
I will note, however, that there is a detail that struck me as not quite kosher: one of the pigs from the Gadarene herd is accidentally brought to the future. Presumably, then, the scientists and techs are confronted with a Satanic Swine--a Possessed Porker! With a pope on hand, all should go well. But what happens to the creature? Does the pontiff dine on devilled ham? I'd like to know.
"Leap of Faith" was a collaboration between Karina and Robert Fabian. It's not as theological as "Tampering with God’s Time," but it is a good story nonetheless.
"The Relics of Venice" by Leslie Brown teeters on the edge of magical thinking--which, as C. S. Lewis observed, is typical of modern science, in a way. But it remains on the right side, especially if you distinguish between God's grace and our superstitious attempts to manipulate him.
"Lost Rythar" by Colleen Drippé is about the dangers of missionary work following an interstellar dark age.
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