f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Shared Values

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

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Shared Values

I think the best way to talk about where Deeanne Gist and her Bride Most Begrudging intersects with faith*in*fiction is to send you to this site and ask you to read the two reviews.

I don’t mean to pick on Kimberly from Virginia but her wording couldn’t be more perfect for where Dee intended to place this book.

“…this is supposed to be a Christian book, including the devotions the author made to the Lord at the start, and I thought she went overboard with some of the comments made. Clean for a regular novel, but I think a Christian novel could cut out a lot of the little unnecessary remarks that ruin it as a truly clean novel.”

Let your mind wander on that a little, let it slip into the gutter a bit. What particular comments and phrases would need to appear for you to post such a comment? (You don't want to know mine. None of what appears in Bride would even make the top 100 list.) And obviously whatever startled Kimberly didn’t faze Lauren from Arkansas at all. She didn't even make a mention. So who is right? Which do we listen to? Is Kim a Puritan? Is Lauren a hedonist?

It’s an endless debate. We talk about it all the time on these content issues. I’m not intending to revive it. What I want to point out however is that this wasn’t done as an oversight. It didn’t slip through. This was intentional on our part and Dee’s (which might make it worse to some), it was done with prayer and discussion, clean consciences, and because it’s the territory Dee wants to occupy. (Also, read the rest of Kimberly's review. She loved the rest of the book.)

I sent Dee some interview questions that I’ll post tomorrow where she talks a little more about that territory. So I won’t ruin it for you. She can tell you in her own words.

The gist of it (inexcusable pun intended) is that Dee has some shared values with CBA, namely the deep love of Jesus and the abiding desire to follow His will. But not every value is shared. The books she writes therefore are going to tweak those values (mostly content areas) that are in conflict. That’s basically the heart of this site talking and debating about our values—which are shared, which are is dissonance—and trying to point out that our TRUE shared passion should override all other concerns.

That we stop saying because you wrote this word (which wasn’t a blaspheme against the Spirit) I question whether your book is Christian. That’s the land of “us” and “the other.” And so despite all odds, I recognized more of my vision that early draft of Bride than I ever expected. And have been honored to help steer it toward that territory Dee hopes to occupy. We’ll see what kind of “friendly fire” we encounter on the way.