Some critics too easily claim that Christian-made stories often portray characters with non-Christian beliefs in cartoonish ways. You might already know the stereotypes: the villainous atheist, the angry Muslim, or the scheming liberal.
These figures may appear in evangelical movies. Contrary to some critics’ charges, such characters aren’t terribly widespread in Christian-made novels. But even when these novels don’t turn non-Christian characters into cartoons, the novels don’t always present compelling arguments for the non-Christian’s position.
Lani Forbes’s Mesoamerican-inspired fantasy The Seventh Sun is one book that does present non-Christian characters who are complex and sympathetic—and even dares to portray people who defend human sacrifice, of all things.
As I’ve reflected on Forbes’s fantasy world after her tragic passing in February 2022, I keep returning to this strength of The Seventh Sun: Forbes portrayed non-Christian characters in relatable ways. She reminded us of important truths we as Christians need, especially when pundits insist we view our opponents as malicious enemies.