Friday, July 15, 2011

In Defense of Dragons

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.


Elf said...

I love reading books about dragons. I have read all of yours except for Masters and Slayers and Song of the Ovulum because they are not at my library, but I may get them for my birthday. Do you have any suggestions for more dragon books? I do agree that dragons can be either good or evil.

Bryan Davis said...

A lot of people like the Dragonkeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul.

Heathy-chan said...

What a good explaination! I love your books, too. ^^

Oh, thank you for answering the vampire question. I have alot of friends who are totally in love with vampires and they are always the 'heroes' in their stories. I've never felt comfortable with the idea or anything, and so I'm glad that there is Biblical scripture to back it up. Now I KNOW that I should not think that they are good in any way.

Elf said...

Thank you, but I have already read the Dragonkeeper Chronicles, along with the Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini, The Dragon Chronicles by Susan Fletcher and many others. I look for more avery time I go to the library, but with all the evil stuff in books these days, I don't know what is good to read.

Bekah said...

I love reading dragon books! Your books have inspired me to live for God. Thank you for answering the vampire question. I have been wondering about that, too, because of the Twilight series.

Christine Smith said...

That was a fantastic explanation, Mr. Davis! I have always loved dragons, and enjoy writing stories with them myself, but I have always been somewhat worried that they should not be portrayed as good. Your defense makes a lot of sense and helped clear my mind of that.

As far as vampires go, I have always believed they were very evil. As Heather said, it is great to know there is scripture backing that up.

Tara McClees said...

Good defense of dragons as always. And your explanation of vampires helps clear up a loose end of sorts in my own story...Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

I’m a Dragonball Z fan myself and I agree that not all dragons haft to be inherently evil. However as a born again Christian who loves Jesus I must speak the truth. The bible clearly teaches that leviathan is a symbolic depiction of Satan. Leviathan is the king of the children of pride and God also said he will destroy Leviathan. Alex Jones has had guests on his radio show that swear they have seen shapshifting reptilian aliens and I find it kind of strange that you have this exact theme in your books. Even stranger you portray the reptilians as good and the humans are evil dragon slayers. Woe unto those who call evil good and good evil.

Bryan Davis said...

Anonymous, you are not speaking the truth. The Bible does not say that Leviathan is Satan. Such a teaching is nowhere in Scripture. The shape-shifting reptilian issue is a matter of fantasy. There is no such creature. Those who are seeing such things are likely delusional.

Since a dragon is a creature made by God, it cannot be inherently good or evil. I can show good dragons and evil slayers if I so choose.

Don't use the "woe to you" verse unless you know what you're talking about. If you post a comment like that again without reasonable facts to back you up, I will not allow it to go through.

Erin said...

I <3 dragons!
Excellent series Mr. Davis!