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"Christian" Fiction

I am an aspiring author. That’s what it says in my profile to the right. Basically it means that I really really like to write (hence, the blog that I pound away on for a very small audience) and that I hope one day to be published and recognized as an author. As opposed to a girl who works for a dentist and at a coffee shop and writes in her spare time.

I have actually written a book; I hope to be self-publishing it in the next couple of months. You can read a little more about it on my humble web page, listed under my links to the right. I’m not going to synopize it right here. But if “Found Phoebe” does get taken on by Red Lead Press, you can be assured that I will also add a link to where you can order it online.

A lot of people have asked me, “Is this a Christian book?” The answer is: yes and no. First of all, no, it is not an explicitly Christian book. By this I mean that Phoebe does not go to church, have a conversion experience, nor is there any mention of God. But at the same time, yes, it is a Christian book because I am a Christian, and I am the author. My worldviews are inherent in my writing, just as “The Lord of the Rings” was not an explicitly Christian book, either, yet is loved by many Christians because of the deep theological themes found there. I am not comparing myself to J.R.R. Tolkien; I am just using his work as an illustration. Although my book is not exactly an allegory, there are parallels and Christian themes in the story; furthermore, my book does not endorse any unscriptural activities.

But as a Christian Author, and even just as a Christian Philosopher in college, I have wrestled with this question: what makes something “Christian Art”? I actually took a whole class about it my senior year, thank you, Dr. Wilson.

I think as Christians, we have a tendency to separate ourselves so much from the mainstream culture that we have created our own little bubble of a sub-culture. There was a time in my life when I thought this was good, but I don’t any more. Part of the problem is that the mainstream market has become so liberal that there isn’t a lot of market for Christian religious art. To compensate, we created publishing houses and media companies that would produce Christian art. But to whom? Not to the world, who needs it the most. But to us, so that we could be surrounded only by what is good and theologically sound.

Yes, I know the verse in Philippians where Paul tells us what things we should think on. And I know we are called to be set apart, to live in the world , but not be of it, and certainly not to love the world or anything in it.

But if Christian musicians are just singing about God’s love to Christians, and Christian authors are just writing books about living life as a Christian and selling it only in Christian bookstores, how are we changing the world?

I am not ashamed that my book does not have the plan of salvation in it. I think God uses all things to draw men to him. I think he uses people who don’t even know Him to spread truth, without them even knowing it. I think His truth can be found in very unexpected places, because it is His world, and He is sovereign, and He has put truth in our hearts. I think you can find elements of the gospel everywhere: in movies like Braveheart and Star Wars, in shows like LOST and ALIAS, and in books like Susan Cooper’s “The Dark is Rising Sequence” and yes, dangit, even in the Harry Potter books.

I still haven’t finished “Heaven is Not My Home,” but I do agree with Dr. Paul Marshall that it is our responsibility as Christians to redeem the world, and to bring to light those truths we find. “Found Phoebe” is about fairies and fairy tales. Why? Because fairy tales (as John Eldredge and even C.S. Lewis would say) present a deep view of reality. They show us what is really going on. As does all effective art, Christian or not.

1 comment:

Brianne said...

You are one hundred percent correct about the Christian fiction/music, sistah. And let it be known that you are a writer who works at a dentist's office and a coffee shop to make money, not the other way around.