Fantastical Truth

Fantastical Truth

174. How Can Fantastical Stories Train Christian Fans in Philosophy? | with Phil Lollar

August 08, 2023

Great stories make us feel wonder, and also feel grief, joy, love, or even some temptations to sin.[1. Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash.] Yet some of the greatest stories also help us ask big questions about God, ourselves, and the world. They help us practice thinking about the deep stuff, which we call philosophy. In our next episode, Phil “-Osophy” Lollar, Adventures in Odyssey founding father and writer, rejoins us to explore how Christian stories train us in renewing our minds.

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Phil Lollar, co-creator of Adventures in OdysseyReintroducing guest Phil Lollar

Phil Lollar started his performing career at the tender age of five. He won numerous acting awards in high school, and studied music, screenwriting and directing in college. Phil then worked with Focus on the Family, co-creating Adventures in Odyssey and writing more than 230 episodes plus directing more than 350 episodes. Phil also co-developed the hit comedy series Jungle Jam and Friends! as well as the animated video series Little Dogs on the Prairie. Phil also served as a writer and consultant for the television series, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. Phil resides in Arizona with his wife and son.

1. How can fantastical stories ignore philosophy?
  • By focusing on “fun” entertainment and human feelings.
  • By assuming stories ought not engage big questions.
  • By treating ideas flippantly or moralistically.

2. How might some stories badly teach philosophy?
  • Examples may include the latter Matrix movies with ponderous dialogue.
  • Or consider some Christian stories offering half-baked “profundities.”
  • Genre matters; that’s why we must be careful reading wisdom literature.

3. How can the best stories flesh out philosophy?
  • Philosophy in fiction works best when it challenges plot and characters.
  • Great philosophy won’t offer easy answers, but points to One who does.
  • Our point in transformed minds is not to be smarter but glorify God.

Mission update

Next on Fantastical Truth

The aliens have returned! Well, they never really left, did they? We’ve explored much about this topic, but now a whole new official cast of characters claims they’ve seen or heard about evidence that They’re Here. And now this common Christian response has become a meme: aliens are just demons. Well, are they? If these creatures exist, are they deceiving us? Or maybe if they fly all this way only to be seen or crash, they’re just kind of stupid? Or perhaps they’re here to teach us a better way? We shall explore an old topic in a new way: are them aliens liars, lunatics, or lords?