f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: With Me It’s All Or Nothing…

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

Friday, July 23, 2004

With Me It’s All Or Nothing…

Yes, that’s a little bit of Oklahoma for those of you who know your lavish Broadway musicals. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Anyway, I’m using it as my entrance into today’s post which is basically how my biggest concern is that we (in the CBA) too often address these topics from either/or positions.

It’s either: THERE MUST BE A SUBSTANTIAL CHRISTIAN MESSAGE.

Or

THAT’S HAMMERING PEOPLE OVER THE HEAD. THERE MUST BE NO EXPLICIT CHRISTIAN MESSAGE.

Both of these are ridiculous. In arguing for “common truths” I’m in no way implying that we should give off writing about Christian truths as well. Just that there should be a spectrum of possible approaches to literature that can still be considered “literature of faith.” I want our publishing house to be able to offer both the subtle and the explicit. Gilbert Morris insists, as part of his ministry, that each of his novels contains the Gospel message in pretty straightforward language. I’m not stripping that from him.

Nor am I (and this is always the reverse claim) watering down the gospel. These are novels after all, not sermons. Stories, whether we like it or not, have their own voice and logic and if/when we impose on that we cheapen or abuse the form and lose the inherent power in the art.

So here’s to the call, that’s been spoken before, to simply do what we do well. Whether it’s common truths and a whisper of grace or a novel of the soul stepped in theology. Regardless of what we write, write it well.

Which bring us to next week’s discussion. It’s basically going to be trumpeting the same theme, but it’ll do so by looking at some areas we’ve not really looked at yet: genres. Romance, mystery, fantasy, horror, and historical. Five days of genre and why snootiness abounds.