Fiction That Means Something

I almost copied the comment SilentFred (also known as Fred Warren, one of the June CSFF Top Blogger Award finalists) left to “More Thoughts about Worldview.” His views are right on and beautifully expressed—from the extended fishing metaphor to the Biblical instruction and personal example. Great!

I really appreciate all the thoughtful reactions in this discussion. Obviously this is a topic near and dear to my heart, which is why I keep coming back to it—why, in fact, I included it in the name of this blog.

So is there a conclusion? Are we left with Whatever? I hope not. Here are some things I’ve gleaned:

Christian fiction and Christian worldview fiction are not the same thing, nor do they necessarily have the same goal. (But a Christian worldview OF fiction looks at all fiction from a Christian worldview, though mostly on this blog I’ve been writing about a Christian worldview and Christian fiction.)

The fiction Christians write varies from that which writers intend for evangelism to that which they hope entertains, with any number of intermediary types in between.

Because the scale has long been tipped toward evangelism, a backlash has brought an increase in titles designed to do little more than entertain.

Both the titles aiming to evangelize and those aiming to entertain contribute to the reputation Christian fiction (used broadly as bookstores use the term) has for being shallow.

Christians don’t have to be afraid of writing with a purpose. Letting our Christianity show doesn’t automatically make bad fiction.

God can use our best efforts, and He can use our feeble efforts, if He so chooses. (“Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, … [they] proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives … What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice” Phil. 1:15-18)

The goal is to glorify God, and I’m not privy to how God brings glory to Himself out of what sinful Man does. I want to write a book that shows God, but I also want to sell that book and make enough money to work as a novelist (and maybe become rich and famous! 😉 . When are my God-glorifying motives ever free from my selfish, self-sufficient, self-indulgent motives?

A call for Christians to write fiction with more substance isn’t a slap in the face but a proper exhortation—we should all want to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Savior. And that growth should be reflected in what we write.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’m trying to do a better job staying within my (self-imposed) word count.

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