August 2nd, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Ray Bradbury on God, 'monsters and angels'

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury, who turns 90 this month, says he will sometimes open one of his books late at night and cry out thanks to God.

"I sit there and cry because I haven't done any of this," he told Sam Weller, his biographer and friend. "It's a God-given thing, and I'm so grateful, so, so grateful. The best description of my career as a writer is, 'At play in the fields of the Lord.' "

Bradbury's stories are filled with references to God and faith, but he's rarely talked at length about his religious beliefs, until now.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. guardian angel

    It's really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    March 31, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  2. verify

    Ray Bradbury is a very talented writer, with a vivid and fertile imagination, who artfully writes entertaining and thought-provoking science-fiction and fantasy works. Do you not see that this is *precisely* the type of person who contributed to the religious myths over the ages? Thrillers such as the Bible, the Koran, Greek/Roman/Norse/Egyptian/Hindu myths, the Book of Mormon, Scientology, and on and on and on, were all composed by the very imaginative people times past.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  3. CJ

    Not that anyone is likely reading this a day later, but for those who are and have some curiosity in the matter of biblical criticism, the books of Bart Ehrman are an excellent resource. Bart Ehrman is the Chair of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former Born Again christian. Among the fascinating differences between the gospel of John and the synoptic gospels is the time of Jesus death. Feel free to read it for yourself. Mark has Jesus dying after eating the passover meal with the disciples. John has him dying the PREVIOUS day, the day of preparation for the passover. Why? Because making a theological point was more important than historical accuracy. For John, the latest of the gospels to be written (circa 90 Common Era) Jesus is the sacrificial lamb (Lamb of God) who dies the same day the passover lambs are slaughtered to commemorate the escape from Egypt. Thus, Jesus dies on the preparation for the passover meal. In Mark, the first gospel to be written, Jesus EATS the passover meal and is crucified the next day. Further, Mark has Jesus predicting the end of the world at his trial, John does not. The reason for this is obvious, by the time John was written, Jesus' prediction that the end would come in the lifetime of the disciples and the present generation had failed. The world did not end. Again, just look it up your self, Mark Ch 9 v 1. The point is, the Bible is symbolic literature and mythology. There is a reason you do not see miraculous works today. They do not happen. Nothing like walking on water, loaves and fish out of thin air, raising the dead will ever, ever occur today. The reason – they did not happen back then either. It is myth.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • ttwp

      @CJ: You speak falsely because you do not understand Scripture. The kingdom of God is the rule of an eternal sovereign God over all creatures and things (Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:3). Jesus also spoke of the Kingdom of God many times. "If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Matthew 12:26-32

      August 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • CJ

      @ttwp. Ummm. Yeah. And the kingdom of god which was supposed to occur here on Earth 2000 years ago did not occur. And my opinion is not me just spouting my version of scripture, Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet is what religious scholars agree on as consensus in terms of best understanding the gospels and other new Testament writings such as the letters of St.Paul. Your verse quotations do not contradict this in the least. This is what is taught to biblical scholars in Seminary for decades now and is the result of scrupulous textual criticism of the bible that was heavily influenced by the work of the German scholar Albert Schweitzer. The view that the apocalypse was coming soon gives the best understanding of what Jesus said and why. And Jesus had different options to ally himself with in the Jewish Palestine of 2000 years ago. And he chose not the Pharisees, or the Saducees, but John the Baptisist. Jewish apocalypticism was a strong movement in that era of Roman domination. The Dead Sea Scrolls date from that period and were written by a Jewish sect called the Essenes and state a similar message. So to think Jesus was influenced most by these traditions makes complete sense when you think of the historical context in which he lived and in the pronouncements of his ministry – ie the soon ending of all things. Such writings are present throughout the gospel, not just Mark 9 v 1, but Mark 13 v 2, Matthew 13 v 47 -50, Luke 21 v 34 – 36 and Matthew 26 v 64 when he tells the high priest that he himself will see the Son Of Man come to this earth to rule 'in Power'.

      So I have studied the scriptures and understand them in the very real, historical context in which they were made. Your verse quote no more refutes the current understanding of his apocalyptic tradition than if you quoted the story of the 'little engine that could'.

      August 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • Steve

      CJ, fantastic reply and you're a great writer. I'd like your collaboration on a project I've got, although it requires more thought instead on blunt, simple replies to such things. denyjesus.com. log onto the forum or leave something in the drop box, if you would.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • CJ

      @Steve. Thanks for the kind response. I'll check out the website.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  4. Steve

    actually, never mind. I better stick to God's Word and nothing else, so I'm not led astray. and wear a bucket over my head. anything but praising God, singing hymns and praying is sinful. they sure knew what they were doing in the dark ages. science and medicine? hoo boy, works of the devil right there. I wonder what they would have done to Ray Bradbury in the dark ages? burned him at the stake no doubt. maybe I shouldn't read his books.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  5. Steve

    Another reason for me to love Ray. Think I'll go buy a few of his books.

    August 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  6. Reality

    For more on the fiction of John, search Google, Yahoo or Bing as the moderators do not want anyone to stray from reading Belief blog ads by accessing referenced non-Belief pages.

    August 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • Steve

      So why exactly should the moderators of the "belief blogs" encourage atheism? As a purely capitalist or logical proposition either one that's sort of self defeating. BTW congratulations on your "best supporting etymoligist" award for your heartfelt patronage of the word "fiction" this year.

      August 3, 2010 at 1:07 am |
  7. Reality

    There have already been 232 comments about this column on the referenced site so is this not a bit of overkill? Apparently not much religion news today in the CNN world?

    "Bradbury's favorite book in the Bible is the Gospel of John." Considering that Bradbury is a writer of fiction, that makes perfect sense.

    With respect to said fiction:

    Of the four canonical gospels, John presents the highest Christology/fiction. It describes Jesus as the fictional incarnation of the divine Logos/fiction, through which all things were made, and declares him to be God.[2] Only in the Gospel of John does Jesus talk at length about himself and his divine role, including a substantial amount of material Jesus shared with the disciples only. Here Jesus' public ministry consists largely of fictional miracles not found in the synoptics, including the fictional account of raising Lazarus from the dead. Contrary to the synoptics, Jesus' fictional miracles in John's hallucinations are frauds meant to engender faith. In John, Jesus is the object of veneration.[3] Certain elements of the synoptics such as parables and fictional exorcisms are not found in John. John presents a realized yet fictional eschatology in which salvation is already present for the believer, and the verses that refer to the fictional coming of Christ were plausibly added later.[4] The gospel includes gnostic elements[5][6] and teaches that salvation can only be achieved through revealed wisdom, specifically belief in (literally belief into) Jesus. (note: words added to drive the message about John, the writer of first century, CE fiction).

    August 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Dimitri

      It would have saved you some effort to close your eyes, stick a finger in each ear and scream "fiction fiction fiction fiction" until you get tired. It would have the same strength of argument.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
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