The Lost Genre Guild on Tour, Day 2


lggbuttonYesterday I mentioned that I would be addressing “issues that the Guild raises” during this month’s CSFF Blog Tour featuring the Lost Genre Guild. The first of these is terminology. Interestingly, a number of other bloggers on the tour have mentioned definitions as well, largely because the Guild addresses the issue as part of their explanation about the organization then again as part of the Guild Review.

On the latter page, a new direction surfaces in the last paragraph:

Christian and Biblical Spec-Fic then can be defined as speculative fiction that is written from a Christian world view: entertainment + scriptural framework. It
can be overt in its message as exemplified in Biblical spec-fiction; or the
message can be subtle as in Christian spec-fiction.

The thing that first caught my eye was the idea that Christian and Biblical speculative fiction are two different things. From my point of view, anything claiming to be Christian without being Biblical is simply misusing the word.

The second thing was the idea that Biblical speculative fiction is overt whereas Christian is subtle, referring to worldview more than to clear Christian content. In many regards, I think that would be a handy notation, but unfortunately, I don’t find this to be widely accepted as true. For the most part, the term “Christian” is used, and it refers to works with a wide range of content, from sermonizing to head-scratching (Huh? Even the author says it isn’t Christian.)

As I’ve recently commented here, I do think some change in categorizing Christian fiction, and by extension, Christian speculative fiction, would be helpful. But I have to say, I still don’t see what I write in any of these categories.

I’ll be plain. I write the gospel, but I do it subtly. It isn’t “Christian worldview” in the sense that I am showing characters who struggle through this world but do so the way Christians do. Nor do I write stories with allegorical religions that mirror Christianity. It’s more the “Moby Dick” way of writing, with the white whale symbolizing God, but no one in the story ever stops and says anything to that effect. Readers come to that conclusion by thinking about the story.

So is that Biblical? or Christian? or Christian worldview?

Tomorrow, thoughts on the speculative side of the term.

For more comments about the Lost Genre Guild, check out the posts by these bloggers. If you have some familiarity with the organization, you’ll especially appreciate the humor in Steve Rice’s Monday post, and Phyllis Wheeler at Christian Fantasy Book Reviews has some great ideas for improving the Web site.

Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm  Comments (6)  
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