Monday, September 21, 2015

Preparing for Dystopia - The First Principle by Marissa Shrock - CSFF Blog Tour

Julie for the CSFF Blog Tour!

This month, we're talking about The First Principle by Marissa Shrock. The promotional description speaks of government control, mandatory abortions, and so forth.  One facet I haven't seen addressed in so many Christian books (in my limited reading), is the government creating an edited, "approved" version of the Bible.

The way things are right now, it seems almost hard to imagine the government "approving" of Christianity in any way, but certainly various Christian groups change interpretations of the Bible (and sometimes even words) through the years. And as humans, making little tweaks is just something we do.  Our Bible Study just got to the fall of man. When the serpent tempted Eve, he twisted God's words...but then, whatever the reason, Eve also quoted God incorrectly!

I think people are prone to corrupting and adjusting the Bible already, sometimes much scarier if the government were to get involved.

Of course, all the dystopian fiction makes me wonder what kind of dystopian world should I be preparing for? The Christian fiction we've been reading for the blog tour lately, such as The Last Principle and Jill Williamson's Safe Lands series, hint that impressive computer hacking skills are probably the most useful skill. The Hunger Games suggests hunting will come in handy. Out in Arizona in the real world, there have been some preparedness conferences teaching how to farm and such.

My problem is that hacking and farming are not exactly overlapping skills. So where should I focus?! (Of course, I'm not sure the fun hacking skills we see in various forms of media are terribly realistic, but they sure look like fun, don't they?)

A sermon series at my church recently emphasized that the best way to prepare not to fall in persecution is to work at having a good relationship with God now. I agree, but The Last Principle reminded me of one of the places where I fall particularly short.

I'm a leader at AWANA at my church, which teaches kids to memorize Bible verses. I was never good at memorizing verbatim, so I didn't like AWANA as a kid (I love it as a leader, since I don't have to recite anything!). I need to remember that memorizing Bible verses--not just the basic gist of them, but the actual words--is a good practice for every Christian, so long as we remember the context.

My phone has multiple Bible translations on it and I can do a web search for any verse I like right now, so it seems kind of unnecessary. But someday we might not be so blessed to have the Bible so widely available, even in America...

Check out the other participants on the blog tour!

Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Jalynn Patterson
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas
Shane Werlinger

*In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I was sent a free copy of this book.


  1. Great thoughts! I was also intrigued with a revised and approved version of the Bible. I think that may be coming sooner that we think. I was sent a Bible to review that had removed gender when talking about God. It also changed Son of God to the Human One. Whoa! I never would have thought to translate it that way. With churches picking and choosing scripture to follow and others stating some scripture is not relevant, a new and "improved" Bible is not so far-fetched. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    1. Yes, any Bible that doesn't make it clear Jesus is a man is completely off the rails, but even relatively knowledgeable people can be guilty of smaller revisions that might be just as damaging.... Thanks for posting!

  2. This book seemed like a plausible potential reality in coming years. After all, there are countries in this world where it's already a death sentence to be a Christian.

    1. Never mind places where you're only permitted to be a certain "kind" of Christian, like China as you pointed out.

  3. Interesting thoughts. Some of the changes in newer versions of the Bible are just disturbing especially in light of their popularity.

    1. I'm sure there are others, but I can't stand when a pastor uses The Message. I can see where it might be more readable, but the one part added at least a full sentence that isn't in any translation I've ever seen!


Do you have a question for us? Post in the comments or email!