Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Real Christian Fiction Is About...

Tonight I left a post on The Steve Laube Agency website in regards to what makes Christian fiction truly Christian. What pushes the envelope and what cuts a clear line as being distinctly the work of a bonafide Bible-believer? Leaving a comment went without question because it's a topic I feel very strongly about. The amount of times I have bought Christian books and my hairs have stood on end with what I was reading goes beyond number. My comments are shown below, and I would encourage you on click the Laube link above and leave a comment of your own. Feedback is valuable.

I’m so glad I saw this because I have a lot to say but won’t say it all. I’ll attempt to sum up by a comment I heard this morning when I dropped my kids off at school. It’s book festival day where the students get to dress up as their favourite character from a book, and to be frank, I was feeling a little bit shuddery at the amount of witches, Harry Potters, and fairies walking around. A 15yr old high school student walked past me with his friends and I over heard him say, “We go to this amazing Christian school and everyone is dressing up as witches and wizards? I wonder if anyone will dress up as Jesus.”

Wow. I almost turned around and said, “Dude, I am so with you on that!”

In my opinion, the same goes for Christian fiction. We’re in the world but not of it, supposedly. Apparently we’re meant to think about whatever is pure and lovely and edifying. Shining our light is okay as long as it’s done when peeking out from under the bushel just so we don’t offend anybody…

For me, a decent Christian fiction will be edifying while on the level, it will point readers to Jesus without reading like a devotional (because if we want a devo, we’ll buy one), and for cryin’ out loud it won’t contain actual swear words or characters screaming OMG and it won’t be endorsing stuff that wastes our time here on earth that we simply just don’t need to spend time thinking about. Life is short and for the sake of God, we ought to live like it even while we enjoy it. Yes, there are people with real and devastating problems, but the details don’t need to be relived in brilliant colour to make a scene ‘real’.

Some of my fave authors are Linda Chaikin, Susan May Warren, and yes, Karen Ball because their morals are undeniable and the message is clear and able to be given to those who don’t yet adhere to faith. My thoughts are not limited to the ones here, but suffice it to say, I don’t like reading novels that feel like a waste of time because I could have bought them at a local bookstore. We don’t need to be seeing how far we can push it just to appear edgy and world-savvy.

God made us smarter than that.

Decide: In your opinion, what makes or defines a book as Christian? Don't you think you should be able to tell our work apart from the world's? Isn't this important? Where do you draw the line?

"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" Matthew 7v16
Vous les reconnaîtrez à leurs fruits. Est-ce que l'on cueille des raisins sur des buissons d'épines ou des figues sur des ronces?

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