In a response to a reader’s question about his works, author Stephen R. Donaldson provided this enlightening comment about the motivation behind his writing:
I’m a storyteller, not a polemicist. As such, my only mission is to help my readers understand my characters and appreciate what those poor sods are going through. (Stephen R. Donaldson Official Website, February 23, 2004)
Donaldson’s best known writings might be categorized as postmodern American science fiction and fantasy literature. The worlds he creates are not the pristine, archetypical fantasy worlds of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, but darker realms that mirror our present ambiguous reality. Donaldson explores human nature in a secular, relativistic world detached from the moral underpinnings of Christian civilization. Good and evil manifest in the worlds he creates, but they are often uncomfortably intertwined so as to be nearly indistinguishable. Such is the case with his most famous protagonist, the anti-hero Thomas Covenant. In ten novels published over the span of 36 years, Donaldson follows Covenant through three epic quests in The Land, the world of his creation where magic and Earthpower shape the lives of mortals. Covenant is one of the most unlikely heroes in the history of literature: a leper living in present-day America who is magically transported to The Land to save it from destruction by Lord Foul the Despiser. He wears a wedding band of white gold, the source of Wild Magic, which is the greatest power ever known in The Land. He does not know how to wield this power, nor does he desire to do so, yet the dire circumstances of The Land compel him to find a way. Each victory comes at a cost. Ultimately it is Covenant himself who pays the greatest price, and thus he earns not only sympathy, but redemption.
We learn much about power in White Gold Wielder, the last novel of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The Elohim, supernatural beings who keep watch over the Earth, “silence” Covenant, placing him in a catatonic state so he will not use his ring unwisely and risk destruction of the world. After Covenant is revived by his companion Linden Avery, Findail of the Elohim explains their actions to her:
The ring-wielder we silenced, not to harm him, but to spare the Earth the ill of power without sight . . . Thus the choice would have fallen to you in the end. His ring you might have taken unto yourself, thereby healing the breach between sight and power. Or perhaps you might have ceded the ring to me, empowering the Elohim to save the Earth after their fashion. Then would we have had no need to fear ourselves, for a power given is altogether different than one wrested away.
Findail’s declaration, “a power given is altogether different than one wrested away,” is a restatement of something taught long ago by One Who understood power:
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28 NASB)
Is the Bible really split into two pieces, or is it one big book telling the same story of God’s redemption and restoration of His creation? Conventional wisdom says it’s two books: the Old Testament, which deals with Israel, and the New Testament, which deals with the Church. Messianic and Hebrew Roots believers have a different understanding. There is only one Book, there is only one Author, and there is only one Word. The Word is Yeshua of Nazareth, the One we believe to be Messiah, and the One Who gives meaning to the entire Book, from Genesis to Revelation.
This is the message presented by Pete Rambo, my friend and fellow Hebrew Roots blogger. At the beginning of this year Pete began teaching a Sunday School class in a local church near his home in South Carolina. Using his considerable training and experience as a pastor, Messianic congregational leader, and Hebrew Roots scholar, Pete presents an astounding Scriptural case for the revelation of Messiah Yeshua from the earliest chapters of the Bible. You will be amazed at the connections he draws between well-known “Old Testament” (Tanach) accounts and the revelation of Yeshua in the “New Testament” (Apostolic Writings). The links below take you to audio recordings of Pete’s Sunday morning teachings. It is well worth the time to listen and test his presentations.
If it were just a matter of listening to sound teaching, that alone would be reason enough to click on these links. There is, however, a matter of far greater urgency. Pete touches on that in the last link in the list, “’Who Said?’ and ‘I AM the Truth’”. In these days the Lord is awakening His people in the church to things we have missed for nearly two thousand years. Namely, we have missed the Hebrew identity of our Savior, our faith, and ourselves. That is the reason for this Torah Awakening which is captivating Believers in Yeshua across the globe. There is an urgency in this: if we do not learn and keep the Commandments of the Lord, then we miss out on the fullness of our calling and the fullness of the blessings He desires to pour out on us and, through us, to the world. If we are indeed in the Last Days, then this is the time our King is restoring His Kingdom of Israel, and He is acquainting His subjects to with the need to walk in the obedience their professed allegiance to Him requires. That is the subject of another recent post Pete published which is reproduced in full below. Please read through this prayerfully.