As an author of books that have dragons as characters, I am often asked about the appropriateness of including dragons as good beings. I have defended the practice many times in speeches and emails, so it's about time I wrote a blog post about it so that others can refer to my answer.
I will do this in the form of questions and answers.
Isn't a dragon a symbol of Satan in the Bible? Why would you use good dragons in a story? Aren't they evil?
The Bible uses a dragon to symbolize Satan, but God also describes Leviathan as one of his greatest creatures in Job 41, and this creature is clearly a fire-breathing, scaly monster that is strikingly similar to the dragons in my stories. It seems to be used in the Bible in multiple ways.
We shouldn't be surprised that a dragon, with its strength and ferocity, is used to explain the devil's tenacity in attacking God's people. But does such a symbol mean that all dragons are evil? I don’t think so. The same is true with a lion. The devil is called a lion that seeks to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Does that mean that all lions are evil? Again, I don’t think so. Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah. A lion is a symbol that can be used in many ways.
Satan is also described in the Bible as appearing as an angel of light, but certainly we are not to regard all angels of light as evil. Also, humans can reflect every wicked attribute of Satan, yet they can also reflect many of God's qualities. They can be good or evil in stories.
My stories says that many dragons are evil and were killed by the king’s slayers. Some, however, are good and are rescued. This follows a symbolic parallel to angels. Some angels are true to God, and some are fallen. We would be wrong to look at one fallen angel and assume that all angels are evil.
So it is with dragons. Just because one dragon is evil, we shouldn’t automatically insist in all stories that all dragons must be evil. In fact, to say so would be similar to superstition, not reason, and there is nothing in the Bible that says all dragons are evil. It just isn't there.
I will be glad to answer any civil questions.