Saturday, May 02, 2009

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday

Thanks to Amy for hosting!
Here is this week's question:

Christian fiction is generally known for being clean and non-offensive, but lately there's been a lot of chatter about edgy Christian fiction and the need for Christian fiction to be more realistic. Christian fiction has certainly changed and contains a lot more edge than it used to. This makes some readers uncomfortable and I was wondering what you line is? What would push the envelope too far for a Christian fiction novel for you? Language? Sex? Violence? Main characters who never believe in Jesus?
If you came across something that offended you in a Christian fiction book, how would you handle it?

I read Christian fiction because the books interest me. As a person of faith, I like reading how faith effects people's lives. However, if you look at my blog you'll see that I'm as apt to pick up as trashy sex-filled romance as the Christian version, so I can't say I'd be offended about the content of a Christian novel unless it misrepresented my faith. To see what I'd do about that, this afternoon I'm posting a less than flattering review of what could have been a great book--A Moment Between.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't believe in censorship. I don't have a problem reading books with steamy sex scenes, but it isn't what I expect when I pick up something labelled Christian fiction. Also, life experience has shown me that Christians sin. Life experience has also shown me that many times people "get away" with sin, meaning there are no obvious adverse effects to them here on earth. To always have your main characters punished in some way for sin just makes your books unrealistic. Personnally I think bleeping out bad language is silly. If the bad language is needed to make the scene realistic, then put it in; if it is not, then leave it out.

Drop by Amy's blog and see how others handle this question.


  1. Anonymous10:33 AM

    I'm with you on bleeping out. Ridiculous. I mean, the image is still going to the brain, right? Just say it.

    Anyway, enjoyed your response/answer very much. Mine is up at Free Spirit-

  2. There are ways to handle a character swearing other than ****.

    I do believe that "swearing is a lazy man's way of being emphatic."

    I did name a book that I feel went over the line.

    Now, if a book misrepresents Christianity, Wow! I would not like that!

  3. I also will read the trashy stuff...but I do think Christian fiction should look different and I don't think that equates censorship.


  4. The problem with the concept of censorship is that people are forcing their opinions on another person. If someone says, 'don't censor,' then they are stating an opinion as much as the person who says "censor" is. The only thing that should "censor" Christian fiction should be the Bible.

    If we took a literal interpretation of God's Word and matched a Christian novel to it, would we find that it was consistent with the teaching? Could every scene be justified?

    I fear that in our desire to be 'real' we've forgotten that God's Word is our guide and our measuring tape.

    So, in picking up a book, it might be wise, if you are a born again believer, would I want Jesus reading this - seeing's how He's living in me?

  5. Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing. I don't know how publishers and authors work together in the Christian world. I'm guessing that when an author signs a contract with them, they know what they can and can't write about in their books. I think unlike secular books, there is a standard that is held up.

    I think there'd have to be a line drawn so that there wasn't confusion as to who the target audience is. I want Christian Ficiton to be different. Kind of a reprieve from the world. You know?


  6. I guess the difference between me and some of you is that I don't read a book because it is Christian fiction, I read it because I'm interested in the book. Sometimes I find that having to stick to the CF standards makes for better books--you can't get a book that is little more than a succession of vividly described bedroom scenes and to get steam you have to be a better writer than if you can go into sexual detail. Sometimes they become sacchrine sweet or preachy--and I quickly learn to avoid those authors.


View My Stats