About Echoes of Empyrean and Its Mission
Echoes of Empyrean exists for one purpose: to spread the Fire of Creation – both subcreation (stories of the imagination) and recreation (sharing the Story of the Gospel from the Author of life itself). But we don’t feature what you might think of as “traditional” Christian writers. The works published here are not in the “Christian” genre. Our stories are Fantasy and Science Fiction. They are not allegories. Don’t look for Christ figures. Don’t expect safe, sanitized, sterile stories. Expect heroism. Expect depravity. Expect joy and sorrow. Expect… life.
Echoes of Empyrean only publishes completed works – but authors can share the entire work or a sample. The point is to help readers and authors connect. Short stories, poems, and the like are published in their entirety, but novels can be either published serially or merely share an excerpt with purchase information for readers if they want to read the entire book and/or series.
Christian Literature Is Not Safe and Sanitized
Life is messy. The Bible recognizes this. Here is a small list of things the Bible discusses, sometimes in graphic detail: murder, adultery, rape, incest, witchcraft, demonic possession… the whole gamut of human depravity is explored. And yet, would any Christian say the Bible is not a wholesome book? Of course, Christ is without sin, but what about all the (non-divine) people that we admire? David, after knowing God, committed adultery and murder. Abraham let powerful men sleep with his wife (twice!) and fathered a child with his wife’s servant trying on his own to fulfill God’s promise. Lot, listed in the Hall of Fame of Faith in Hebrews 11, allowed his daughters to get him drunk and commit incest. Moses murdered an Egyptian. Peter denied Christ. St. Paul murdered Christians! And that’s not to mention all the absolutely horrific things that those recognized as evil committed that are discussed!
So, what makes the Bible wholesome? Sure, we can give the “churchy” answers: it reveals God’s glory, it contains the salvation for mankind, etc. But how does it do this? The Bible directly (as it has the Holy Spirit for its author and us directly for its audience) whets our appetite for Love and Truth, stirring in our hearts a desire for Him and encouraging us to dwell on things that glorify Him, namely all things Good, for which He is the ultimate source. The glory of God is on full display, the tragedy of the human condition, and the Hope that has been made open to all. Good is celebrated, declared that it will be recognized and rewarded – whether in this life or the next, and evil is judged – again, whether in this life or the next.
Writing from a Christian Heart, Not in the “Christian” Genre
So, what makes a Christian authors’ stories wholesome? It certainly isn’t by being clean and sterile – the Bible isn’t even that. Rather, the stories we publish here echo the Great Story. Though the God of the Bible may not be directly represented, His eternal attributes – Justice, Mercy, Order, Love… are. Good will be celebrated. Evil will be recognized as such. That doesn’t mean heroes will be without flaws – sometimes they will even have horrific ones. Rather, we hope our stories move people to think on things like Justice, Mercy, Order, Love, and all the other attributes found in their fullness in God. It doesn’t mean our stories will be safe for you to read to your young children (though we will have some that are). We will wrestle with hard questions and concepts; there will be brutality in our worlds, as there is brutality in this one. But we will celebrate good. We hope the echoes heard in our subcreation will help listeners identify the Voice singing His song over all creation.
Our Stories Merely Echo His Story, But Our Work is His Work
Yet, as much as we are grateful and enjoy developing our God-given craft, as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes and as Paul reaffirms, it would ultimately be meaningless if it just stopped there. But we do hope to make a direct, eternal difference. That is why 10% of Echoes of Empyrean’s gross profit will go to missionaries spreading the Gospel. We also will have non-fiction articles dealing with both our faith and craft. Our contributors worship God as the Father of all authors, His Story as the best one to ever be told, and the one that will be eternally written – no “The End.” We are humbly grateful to be created in His image, and as such believe we honor Him by emulating Him in our subcreation, much like a child honors their father by trying their hands at their father’s work. We know it’s messy. It’s not as good. But we understand our Father better when we try to do what he does. Christians who engage in subcreation gain insight into God’s character and understand him better than those who simply read about God creating.
Publishing with a Christian Attitude
Finally, we will glorify God as a publisher by paying our authors as much as we pay ourselves. It’s a sign of the fallen world where publishers of the story make so much more than the actual storytellers that give them something to publish. After the 10% donation to spreading the Gospel, the remaining gross profit is split into two, equal pools: contributor funds and publisher funds. The contributors will split their funds equally for each issue with their fellow contributors per issue. Meanwhile, 10% of the publisher funds will be reinvested to help grow our audience (and then the spreading of both the Gospel and our contributors’ stories), and the remaining will be the compensation of EoE staff.
If you are a Christian who would like your love of stories to help further God’s kingdom, whether you are a reader or a writer, we’d love you to join us. If you are a reader, you browse stories that hopefully delight you and be happy that most of the money you used to purchase your subscription will be primarily used to spread the Gospel and support the authors you love instead of the publisher’s salaries. If you are a writer, you can use the work of your hands to spread the Gospel and get paid exposure to grow your audience. What are you waiting for? Join Echoes of Empyrean today!