f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: An Apology and a Clarification

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Friday, December 05, 2003

An Apology and a Clarification

A day later, I’m not at all happy with what I posted yesterday. It certainly wasn’t very generous and reeks of the same arrogance of which I accused a good number of writers. I’m not going to retract the post, though, because I do think there’s still some merit to the third paragraph.

This argument really isn’t about writing, though. Not to languish in overstatement, but this debate goes to the very core of faith and how we think about and act out our hope and trust in God.

There are those who follow the words of the carol and “Go tell it on the mountain.”

There are others whose lives of sacrifice speak louder than any words.

There are people so deeply, instantly, changed by the answer to their hearts’ yearning that they must share that moment, that turning point, in anticipation that others are seeking likewise.

There are some, however, for whom the search has been arduous and fitful. They don’t understand Epiphany—they only understand the search.

Because of fiction’s unique ability to offer a platform, I think it is easy to simply “shout our joy from the mountaintop”. Because of story’s urgent need for the compelling and dramatic, I think it is easy to want to focus on the moment of shattering change. We all want to write of Paul’s blinding on the Road to Damascus.

There are other stories out there, however. Stories of the search. Quiet stories that show God’s love rather than explain it.

They are not opposites—humble or arrogant. They are simply different forms of tackling the thorn problem about saying anything meaningful at all about this God we crave.