I would like to see science fiction used to explore what it would mean if Calvinism were true. I’m talking predestination. TULIP. The works.
For those unfamiliar with the acronym, TULIP — outlined indelibly by the great George C. Scott here — stands for total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.
That framework is only sustainable, I think, because our knowledge is incomplete and imperfect. Calvinists know that some few are among the elect, and that Jesus’ atonement is not for all/most. But Calvinists have no way of knowing, with certainty,who the elect might be.
If that knowledge were available — if it were obvious and certain — then Calvinism would not last another generation. It would collapse partly due to ethical incoherence and partly due to ethical horror.
Fred of course has been dealing for years with the pain of inept world-building in his massive review of Left Behind (a task for which there really should be an award of some kind). So the idea of asking how the world would be different if you tweak one dimension of reality is a genuinely interesting prospect.
The best science fiction of course is great because it creates a compelling world in which its characters can dwell. Tweaking it in a theological dimension could yeild some very interesting results.