Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

The Circle Trilogy weaves together numerous themes that are either foundational or central to Christian life. In Black, through his unfallen future Earth, Dekker imagines the intangible as tangible: God (Elyon) speaks directly to humans, and they can literally—not just metaphorically—bathe in the water alive with his presence. Organized religion practiced by the community is vibrant for each person and brings delight and spiritual refreshment daily. Fruit provides nourishment not only to the palate and body but also to the soul. Relationships between humans are free from jealousy and strife, and individuality is no threat to the community: People reflect God’s creativity in their distinctiveness without expressing that individuality in self-exaltation or selfishness.

One of the most vivid materializations of spiritual truth in the novel is the Great Romance, the name used in future Earth both for Elyon’s means of relating to humans and for the courtship of a man and woman. In Black, Tanis teaches Tom that a man follows the same steps to win a woman’s heart that Elyon takes to rescue “everything that is his . . . he chooses . . . he pursues . . . he rescues . . . he woos . . . he protects . . . he lavishes.” By depicting religion as a romance between humans and God with God as initiator, Dekker portrays passion and desire—not simply duty and decision—as essential elements of a true relationship with God.

Evil, too, is...

(The entire section is 603 words.)