CSFF Tour-Mindflights, 3

CSSF Blog Tour

Banners, banners, and more banners, not to mention buttons. In case members or friends of CSFF have missed it, we have banners and buttons available. In fact, one of our members, Robert Treskillard created a number of additional ones of various sizes and looks. Quite sharp. These are free for the taking, and we welcome you displaying buttons or banners on your own site.

As I’m sure regular readers have notice, I’ve moved beyond simply listing the blog tour participants and have given a method for visitors to know which other sites they may wish to tour. I’ve also decided to give a Top Tour Participant Award to the blogger who has written the best content over the three days of the tour. This is significant to me because the CSFF tours are as much about my visitors learning about other CSFF’ers as it is about promoting our genre and our feature.

And speaking of our feature, the spotlight this month is on MindFlights. I suspect most writers who stopped by the web site were quick to check out the submission guidelines. I suppose it’s what we do. 😀 One point caught my attention right away. While the editorial staff (I assume that is the “we” mentioned) believes “ultimate truth resides in the person of Jesus Christ, who as Savior embraces us with eternal life, and as Lord asks that we give ourselves over to service, to love, to purity, and to a greater purpose,” their writers are not required to believe the same.

From the MindFlights guidelines:

We are not isolationists. We don’t bar the door to the skeptic, or the seeker who hasn’t found, or the one who has an allegiance to a different set of doctrines. Our faith says the door should be open for all who want to befriend us. Hospitality is an early and enduring virtue in Christendom. Therefore, we want to offer broader visions of truth. While contributors need not be Christian, familiarity with compatible values will increase the likelihood that your submission will fit.

So here’s kind of the reverse approach from that of the general book publishers—starting out with a Christian worldview and willing to include anyone not opposed to it (in contrast to starting out with a non-Christian worldview and willing to include anyone not too overt in their differing view). I find the idea intriguing. After all, I would characterize most of my writing as aimed at Both, Christian and non-Christian alike.

The realities of marketing in today’s society, however, seem to dictate the need to “target” a particular group. My decision was to earmark Christians and leave it in their hands to pass my writing along to the non-Christians in their world. That strategy may or may not work.

But what about MindFlights? In their decision to be inclusive—hospitable, I believe was their term—are they gaining or losing an audience? And is there any way to know? I mean, unlike Christian bookstores or the shelves of Christian fiction in a general market store, there is no way of knowing who visits MindFlights, barring a poll of some kind.

Of course, there was no Big Announcement of a change of policy, so perhaps there has been no change in readership, other than would be expected from the merge of two established webzines.

Seems to me a webzine, and a book store, for that matter, should be very different from a church. After all, Christians are to be in the world but not of it. So “in” seems to mean non-Christians can hang around with us and enter into discussion with us about our plots, our characters, our themes, our faith, our hope, our Savior.

OK, before posting the list of other May CSFF Blog Tour participants, I want to make the first Top Tour Blogger Award. For his three posts on MindFlights, the award goes to Steve Rice, who, by the way, takes a different view from mine about MindFlights’ change of direction.

And the others:

*Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
**Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Michael Heald
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Kait
Carol Keen
*Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Margaret
Pamela Morrisson
*John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Rachelle
**Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Mirtika or Mir’s Here
Rachelle Sperling
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
*Speculative Faith
Robert Treskillard
Linda Wichman
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Bold type indicates a site I know has posted.
An * indicates “must read” content.
** “Must read” content, an intriguing discussion you might want to join

Published in: on May 21, 2008 at 11:41 am  Comments (5)  
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5 Comments

  1. […] Original post by Rebecca LuElla Miller […]

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  2. I think you make a great point about web sites not being churches.

    We function in a secular internet and the more inclusive we can be without compromising our Christian walk the more people we will reach with the gospel. Isn’t this what Jesus did?

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  3. Becky, I enjoyed your viewpoint and agree with you that websites are not churches. Yet, the evangelist in me is easily frustrated by those who believe we shouldn’t rub shoulders with unbelievers in any way, shape or form. I sometimes wonder about the size of their prayer closets and if they’ve heard about the “Great Commission.”

    I also commend Tim’s comment about being more inclusive. The more accessible believers make themselves to the lost, the more likely they will be found. Jesus was always accessible and approachable. Shouldn’t we in our writing ministries do likewise? Peace!

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  4. Good comments and questions as per your usual. Thanks for your good discussion on issues pertaining to faith and fiction.

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  5. Great discussion, here and at Steve’s site. I might mention that Linda has a great post on the topic at her blog, too.

    Tim, in reference to mingling with unbelievers, you said: Isn’t this what Jesus did? In part, yes, that’s true. People sometimes don’t realize, however, that the tax collector Jesus was eating with was Matthew. Possibly the “sinners” were Mary Magdalene or others who had demons cast out of them. My point is, we know that the Pharisees saw them as sinners because they weren’t … well, Pharisees, but how did Jesus see them? As redeemed? As believers? As disciples?

    Still, he did eat with the unrepentant. After all, he ate at the home of a Pharisee, an unredeemed Pharisee. Although he didn’t seem to make distinctions, we, nevertheless, know He didn’t enter into their sins. Which is probably something we as writers can apply. (Just how, is another question. 😉 )

    Becky

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