Christian Fiction and the CSFF October Poll

If you came by on Friday looking for a post or the tour poll, I apologize for not having anything for you. More email problems, and by the time I gave up trying to fix my primary program, I had nothing to say worth saying in a blog post! 🙄

We’ve had good discussions over the last two posts, and I hesitate to move off the topic of Christian fiction. At the same time I don’t want to pulverize sand.

Here are a couple things I’d like to emphasize before moving on:

1. As long as Christians write fiction and/or Christian publishers publish fiction, we’ll probably have the debate about what constitutes a story written from a Christian point of view.

2. Fiction that relies on reality needs to be faithful to said reality. Consequently, if a story takes place in San Francisco 2009 and isn’t speculative, then there needs to be a Golden Gate Bridge, the city won’t be rebuilding after an earthquake flattened it, and Christian revival won’t be the cultural norm.

In the same way, unless there are speculative elements, documented historical events must remain in place. Abraham Lincoln can’t avoid assassination, England can’t defeat the American colonists, Hitler can’t be kept from power.

So too with Biblical events. What the Bible states unequivocally must be adhered to in fiction.

3. Fiction that speculates may imagine a world that is different from contemporary reality and historical reality and even spiritual reality as long as God is not besmirched. Satan, for example, can’t be shown as more powerful than God. God can’t be fragmented or shown as a thing or a force instead of a person.

4. Some truths should not come under speculation. I’m on somewhat shaky ground here and haven’t thought about this a lot, but I don’t think Christians should speculate about Salvation: What if God chose to save Man in some other way than sending His Son? I am confident we shouldn’t speculate about God’s character: What if God wasn’t good? This last could be written as irony I suppose, to prove the opposite.

But my point here is, some truths are more important than the freedom to speculate or to write a good story. I say frequently that story trumps all when it comes to fiction, but I believe that truth should trump story. Or more accurately, story should serve truth, and if it does not, then the story is off.

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And now to our poll. Those bloggers eligible to win the October CSFF Top Blogger Award are the following:

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm  Comments (6)  
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  1. Yes


  2. Very good.


  3. Thanks for getting this up :). The conversation has been really meaty this time around — it’s still going on at my blog, particularly on the last two days. Eric Wilson even came by and left a good response.


  4. Yes. Good discussion and good points.

    BTW, does anyone know that Japan has a category of literature for Alternate Histories? Surely literature in this category would fit into our speculative category (though little Japanese literature is specifically Christian that I am aware of). So, if the Japanese can handle a whole category of literature that mixes real and make-believe in this way then why shouldn’t we be able to as well?

    (Forgive me if I have overlooked something or described this in the wrong way. I am no expert on Japanese literature, but I know this to be the case from certain Japanese-based television programs, manga, and video games. Apparently, it’s quite common and quite popular.)


  5. We have a similar category of literature here in the States, and with a similar name for the genre; Harry Turtledove is the first author that leaps to mind. No reason why Christians can’t jump on that bandwagon!


  6. Lot of food for thought here, and especially agreed with your fourth point, that Christian fiction writers must place truth above story.


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