Christian Fiction?

I think God cares about quality.  This is part of the reason I generally avoid Christian fiction.  I'm not sure God is glorified by a shout-out in  a mediocre historical romance or the presence of angels in a mediocre supernatural thriller in which the protagonist is a deacon at his church.

I think that God is glorified in excellence-- in using the talent he has given to the utmost.  God is glorified when our artistic work reflects his nature: his holiness, his justice, his strength, his love and concern for the weak and poor and oppressed.

I am not saying that there is no place for fiction for and about Christians.  However, there is no place whatever for bad Christian fiction.  There is no place whatever for stilted dialogue, ridiculous plotting and bad pacing.  It is not enough, brothers and sisters, to write inoffensive novels.  It is not enough to create one-dimensional characters with ridiculous problems who happen to be Christians.

It is enough to become "poured out as a drink offering"--to offer every iota of skill and talent. It is enough to offer every work of art as an act of worship to the living God.

God is worthy of the best art that we can create, and I confess that in my case, he doesn't always get it.  I will remedy this henceforth with his help.

2 comments:

Chris Krycho said...

Dead on, sir. I may quote you on that particularly excellent sentence: "It is not enough, brothers and sisters, to write inoffensive novels." That is, I think, the single best summary description (in two words, no less!) of Christian fiction's mediocrity I can think of.

Real life is messy, painful, and complex. Believing in God is not a magic bullet to fix the problems of one's life; nor does a name drop to God somehow make a novel better.

Jaimie Krycho said...

I was reading this in my feed, not noting the author and thinking. "Yeah! Yeah! This is good stuff. I'm going to pass on this link to Chris and Stephen." Haha.

Good post.

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