This week on Pathos, I had the privilege of interviewing Jay Lauser, the creator and administrator of the Holy Worlds Christian Fantasy Forum. Jay is a man with an obvious love for God, an equally apparent passion for excellence, and many firm, grounded convictions. Be sure to swing by his website, Sir Emeth
, after you read the interview, and if you’re an author or reader of Christian fantasy, give the Holy Worlds Forum
a look – it’s pretty much amazing. Now, without further ado, Jay Lauser:
The Author’s Apprentice: What is your greatest passion?
Jay Lauser: This question is kind of like those annoying “what is your favorite book” questions. There are two reasons I don’t like those. One is that I have a ridiculously hard time picking a favorite of anything, and the other is that of course the Bible is my favorite, hands down. Everything else is leagues below it.
Thankfully, my greatest passion is much easier. My greatest passion is to serve and glorify God, but the unique vision and calling that He has given me is much more specific than that. Thus that fundamental passion is expressed through my subordinate passion of Liberty. Liberty in thought, in lexicology, in government, in family, in church, everywhere. I tend to focus most on liberty in lexicology, though.
See, I define liberty a bit differently than most people. I define it as the freedom to do what is right. So liberty in lexicology would be freedom from sophist lies and manipulations of communication so that we can articulate ourselves clearly and effectively for the glory of God.
This over-arching passion links together and drives everything I do.
TAA: If it was up to you to change the world, how would you go about it?
JL: Depends on what I wanted to change about it. * chuckles * But I guess that is kind of an implied question there, so I will answer both.
I would like to change the way people think and make them all agree with me, of course. But since even God doesn’t do that, I guess that isn’t really an option. And besides, it really isn’t that good of an idea anyways.
But if you leave that out, you are left with few other options. Mostly everything is tied directly to people’s own decisions about things. And I can’t change those.
Above all, I would like to change the fact that there isn’t a nation on the planet that exists in a state that is based completely off of the Bible and nothing else. America was pretty close when it was founded, but it fell short back then, and now it is even farther from that ideal. This world needs a nation dedicated to God in every facet of its existence.
Of course a lot of people would like that too, but few would consider it possible. I think it is, though, and I also think it is a worthy goal. There are several options for how to go about making it become a reality, but I think the most likely to succeed is also the most risky: gathering a large group of like-minded individuals, moving to an uninhabited location, and setting up a new nation. Far-fetched, but plausible, with the right preparation.
TAA: What gave you the idea for Holy Worlds?
JL: Haha, well it was a combination of two things, mostly. First off, I got tired of repeating myself when I talked to my friends about my fantasy world, and figured it would be a good idea to put them all in one spot for them all to read for themselves. Secondly, I figured they would probably like to do the same things as well, and not only just so I could read them. I figured they would like to read about each other’s as well. So a forum was the natural solution.
And since I already knew about forum management from my previous forum experiences (on Liberty’s Light and the Rebelution forums), I was able to get it off to a good start.
TAA: What is one lesson that you’ve learned through working on Holy Worlds?
JL: That you can’t do stuff by yourself.
People like to congratulate and thank me because Holy Worlds is such a great place. And it is. But I didn’t do it. Yes, I got it off to a good start, and set up the rules and guidelines that made it tick, but forums like Holy Worlds and the communities that go with them don’t just pop up out of nowhere. The fact that we haven’t had a single unruly member that we have had to delete or even warn in the year and 200 members we have so far is a miracle, plain and simple.
The work that goes into maintaining it is also quite simply impossible for me to do by myself. Even a tiny part of it is impractical for me to handle. That is why I am eternally grateful to my wonderful, amazing forum team. They have got us through some tough times and sticky situations very ably, and I completely trust them with my forum. Again, a team like that just doesn’t come from nowhere: they are a blessing from God.
TAA: If you had the world gathered around to listen to you for five minutes, what would you tell them?
JL: “Please back off: I don’t have room to breathe!”
Just kidding. I would probably start off with an illustration disconnected with anything and then move into an impassioned speech on something I have no idea about. It is difficult talking to people about anything when you know that there are thousands of people in your audience that know many times more than you in most subjects you could talk about, and that only a couple people would be interested in the other stuff. * chuckles *
But I think the most effective thing I could possibly do would be to talk about worldviews, and how only the Christian worldview can possibly be internally consistent, basing it off of Jason Lisle’s incredible talk on the subject. It might get a couple million people thinking at least. 🙂
TAA: Who are your heroes and why?
JL: My biggest hero is William Wilberforce, although there are several other men that I look up to and follow after quite assiduously.
I picked him because he is so much like what I want to be: a man who defied the cultural expectations of his day and persevered in not only one grand object of his life, but in several. He impacted the world like few other men have done, and we are still enjoying the blessings that are from his life. He not only brought about the abolition of slavery in England, but brought about a massive revolution of morals in England which spread to the States, setting an amazing example of God’s power wrought in one man in modern times. We have no excuses.
My father is my largest hero other than Wilberforce. I trust and rely on him implicitly, and respect his skills, knowledge, understanding, and devotion to God as I do no other living man. I am extremely blessed by his presence in my life, and for how he has put up with all the troubles I have given him over the years.
TAA: How can the readers of The Author’s Apprentice pray for you?
JL: Well my greatest weakness, surprisingly enough, considering all the projects I start, is laziness. I have to work real hard to … make myself work hard. Which is pretty awkward when you think about it. Haha. So prayer on that point would be greatly appreciated by me (and, I am sure, by all the people I delegate stuff to, haha).