CSSF, Bib-Spec-Fic—What Are They? What’s the Difference?

I bring up this subject because of the interview I did with Frank Creed, founder of the Lost Genre Guild—an interview I posted today at Speculative Faith.

The conversation includes discussion of the term Frank coined for speculative fiction written from a Biblical worldview—bib-spec-fic. He defined this designation in a post at the Lost Genre Guiild blog (see October 11, 2006).

Frank even submitted that definition to Wikepedia: “Biblical speculative fiction [Bib-spec-fic], noun: stories with settings or races that are significantly unlike our own, told through a Scriptural world-view and framework.”

Interestingly, except for the speculative element, I don’t think the meaning is so far off from my definition of fiction written from a Christian worldview (from the March 16, 2006 post):

So Christian worldview in fiction is not Christian characters doing “Christian” things like going to church or not swearing. Nor is it Christian characters doing sinful things just like everyone else … It is not even the protagonist holding to or developing a Christian philosophy of life.

Let me clarify that none of those things prohibits the novel from expressing a Christian worldview. Rather, those things are not required.

So what is? … the secret, in my estimation, lies in the theme.

… I think it’s interesting to think about Jesus’s worldview. His was a view of the world from God’s perspective. That, I believe, is truly a Christian worldview.

… That kind of statement can smack of hubris—I mean, how can a novelist ever write make-believe as if viewing the world from God’s perspective?

That’s where the “Bible believing” part I mentioned earlier comes into play. God has revealed Himself and His thoughts about His creation in His word.

As a writer conforms his or her themes to what God has revealed, he or she is writing from a Christian worldview. [quote edited; emphasis added]

I don’t want to get bogged down in semantics, and it seems to me the only way to avoid doing so is to occasionally clarify definitions.

In thinking about this discussion and clarification of terms, it dawned on me that “Christian” is not a man-made word. In the short run, I suppose it was. Some people in Antioch during the first century started calling the group Christian who believed in Jesus as Messiah; who believed Jesus is the only person capable of accessing the Father; who believed, in fact, that Jesus’s death made God’s sin-forgiving possible.

Still, we would not have the term today if it had not been recorded as part of the Bible. So, in essence “Christian” is Biblical, part of God’s writing.

That the term is not clearly understood in contemporary society, or has even been misused throughout the centuries, does not negate its power. From The Oxford American College Dictionary a Christian is “a person who … is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.”

Maybe, along with reclaiming the lost genre, we need to reclaim the real Biblical definition of Christian as well.

Published in: on November 6, 2006 at 12:17 pm  Comments (6)  
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