f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: The Perils of Christian Fiction: Two Sides

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

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Perils of Christian Fiction: Two Sides

My job is odd. Any position that manages to take you from mainstream CBA writing conferences to places like Art and Soul at Baylor is bound to give a person a bit of literary schizophrenia. (In its non-clinical, non-DSM-IV definition.)

Over the past 18 months or so, I’ve seen the lines drawn in the sand on this debate and, as always with Christians, it seems to boil down to control. We want to be in control of what gets labeled “Christian.” We’re eager to brand things blasphemous or unorthodox or heretical. I don’t know if it’s the power of being exclusionary or the comfort of defining ourselves by what that with which we disagree, but it’s a tactic you see often in all kinds of Christian circles. You’re tiptoeing to the very pits of hell because you believe….

Nobody ever takes it that far is this debate, but I think those twitches, those urges, are there. I figure there’s no point in being coy about it. We might as well throw open the doors and just hash this sucker out. Tomorrow and Wednesday I’m going to summarize what I see as the two competing views of the OTHER side. The cons, in other words.

Thursday and Friday, I’d like to focus on the PROS each side should focus on and what those of us stuck in the middle ground can do. Because I think that’s where a lot of us are. Dodging the slings and arrows as we try just to write out the stories we think God wants us to as best we can.