Jump to content

Welcome to Christian Writers!

We are a friendly community built around Christian writing, publishing, reading and fellowship. Register or sign in today to join in the fun!
Claire Tucker

Can Christians Write Fiction For Non-christians?

Recommended Posts

So there's a question I've been turning over a long time in my mind, without answers, and it links to the following passage of Scripture:

Quote

Matthew 13:10 - 13

10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

So I view fiction as parables, in which the message of the gospel and of the Kingdom of Heaven are ... not really concealed, but layered in. As such, then, according to this, parables and fiction, are not meant for the Christians who already understand but for non-Christians who do not see. However, in taking this approach, I can see one of two things happening:

 

1) The message of the Bible becomes so hidden that it is not seen

 

2) The message of Bible is brought front-and-center, and only read by Christians.

 

Obviously, neither of these are desirable outcomes. 

 

So, my question is this: Can Christians write fiction for non-Christians, while avoiding both of these pitfalls? If so, how?

 

(P.S. I don't have the answers to these. Any thoughts will be most welcome.)

 

(P.P.S. @Nicholas Reicher, if my logic is doctrinally faulty, please jump in correct me. Thanks :))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 If a fiction book promotes values, teaches a lesson, always has a happy ending (good prevails over evil in all books), adheres to a decency code (certain boundaries such as sexuality, strong language, and topics of such cannot be crossed) is it Christian Fiction? I would say that those attributes are good and healthy reading. If you enjoy writing those type of books, I support you, I say good for you, the world needs more books like that instead of the trash out there.

 

However,  it still hasn't crossed the line into what I would call Christian Fiction.

 

Christian Fiction needs all of the above mentioned attributes, which does separate Christian books from the other books out there, but also needs some Christian Thread through it. This can be for example; one of the characters either comes to a Christian understanding of God, or man's need for salvation from sin or or faces a crisis of his or her faith or that of others, or using Biblical scripture in a unique way, or helping others come to faith, or something else (use your imagination) .

 

This is only my humble opinion, and lol, somethings I quoted from the internet.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I decided to jump over here to see what you all had to say too...I still like the Francine Rivers definition of Christian Fiction that several people shared, as it's concrete and concise, but your (internet-borrowed) quote here is good too...fleshes out the idea a little more.

 

I think the number one thing is, whether you're writing a moral tale or a Christian one or something in the gray zone in between, is to make it so good, so compelling, that whoever starts reading doesn't want to stop until its through. When it's so good you can't forget it, that's when the Christianity sticks, regardless of your intended audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good questions, @Claire Tucker! Let me start with my simple answer. Yes! The Chronicles of Narnia are the perfect example. The last book in the series shows what will happen at the end of age. (Or whatever word you'd like to use for it I've heard a few) The Last Battle. I read this book to my kids, and they have made the connection to the Bible. Things like the stars falling from heaven, and several things like this. So while it is an excellent story as only a story, in Biblical light, it helps them visualize things from the Bible better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Alley said:

Yes! The Chronicles of Narnia are the perfect example.

 

I agree that this books is Christian fiction with symbolism.

Another example which some people quote as Christian Fiction is Lord of the Rings. I disagree with this one, just because it was written by a Christian and is morally correct (good vs. Evil) it I wouldn't classify it as Christian fiction. It is good fiction none the less.

 

47 minutes ago, Zee said:

I think the number one thing is, whether you're writing a moral tale or a Christian one or something in the gray zone in between, is to make it so good, so compelling, that whoever starts reading doesn't want to stop until its through.

 

I agree. There is nothing stopping a Christian writer from writing a good moral tale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bob Leone said:

Another example which some people quote as Christian Fiction is Lord of the Rings. I disagree with this one,

I'm with you on this. A Christian can write an incredibly moving story that captures the hearts and minds of his readers, and yet his work isn't necessarily Christian. As much as I love the Lord of the Rings, Silmirillion, The Hobbit and all other works by Tolkien, I would not classify his works as Christian fantasy. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Claire Tucker said:

So, my question is this: Can Christians write fiction for non-Christians, while avoiding both of these pitfalls? If so, how?

 

In order to answer this question, I think some underlying questions need to asked: As a Christian author, am I violating a biblical mandate by writing stories that aren't overtly evangelistic (clearly and directly stating the Gospel)? Or am I allowed to simply tell a story, even though it may not have any direct evangelistic conveyance?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. I'm pretty new here. My dad is a pastor and I can tell you directly that a Christian's purpose in life is to live for God. First. That is, not giving in to temptation hoping to change a person. We cannot change a person. We can influence them toward God, but He does the changing.

 

Does that make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Christian writer can write anything he/she wants as long as it conforms clean standards of respectable or moral behavior.

 

The point is the difference between calling a particular work Christian or non-Christian simply because the author is a Christian.

 

A Christian story to be classified as Christian needs to  adheres to a decency code certain boundaries such as sexuality, strong language, and topics of such cannot be crossed. Also, it needs some Christian Thread through it. This can be for example; one of the characters either comes to a Christian understanding of God, or man's need for salvation from sin or or faces a crisis of his or her faith or that of others, or using Biblical scripture in a unique way, or helping others come to faith, or something else (use your imagination) .

 

For example on my website www.aimhigherbooks.com I have graphic stories that are Christian such as "New Beginnings" and "The Devil His Due". And I have non-Christian cartoons such as "The Empire Boys." and some in between like "SnakeEyes". 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Claire Tucker said:

(P.P.S. @Nicholas Reicher, if my logic is doctrinally faulty, please jump in correct me. Thanks :))

I'll just give the short view...

The sayings of Christ  in this regard is meant for those who are born again and are capable of understanding. 

 

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14, KJV)

The Gospel is literally obscured to those who do not want to know nor receive it.

 

The idea of eternal life makes sense to those who have it. It makes zero sense to the unsaved.

So Christ concealed His teachings through parables and sayings. To the regenerated, it makes sense. To everyone else... it makes no sense.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
On 3/8/2019 at 8:38 PM, Nicholas Reicher said:

I'll just give the short view...

The sayings of Christ  in this regard is meant for those who are born again and are capable of understanding. 

 

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14, KJV)

The Gospel is literally obscured to those who do not want to know nor receive it.

 

2

 

@Nicholas Reicher When you say

Quote

Capable of understanding

  is the point we are discussing. The Parable of the seeds shows that the intent of casting a parable has different outcomes depending upon the soil (soul) that receives it. It is "Truth Seekers" with an open heart that Holy Spirit is able to work.

 

I have just finished an Sc-Fi book series by  Vaughn Heppner  A. I. Destroyer  where the protagonist quotes the Bible and says prayers over the mission he is about to undertake. Other than that and a strong sense of morality and ethics Christianity is not mentioned.  

Again, one of the most prolific and popular Sci-Fi authors, David Webber is a United Methodist lay preacher who has written the Honor Harrington series and now just finishing the Safehold series. These novels explore the interplay of faith, "the church" and the good and bad of both on both individuals and large populations in a fictional setting. Webber certainly makes the ties to current and historical church history relevant.

 

I don't see enough in David or Heppner's writings to claim they can lead somebody to Yeshua Jesus, but, like Narnia, anybody seeking the truth can be prompted by Holy Spirit and make internal connections to the writing that may indeed "prepare the ground" further for the growth of the seed.

 

Sci-Fi may not be the most popular or easy "Ground" to cast seed, but given the popularity of the Genre in our current culture, it should certainly be fertilized!

 

That's why I am here. I love Sci-Fi, and I love the Bible. And I love my Yeshua, Jesus! I would be dead without them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the whole Harrington series and while I enjoyed all fourteen or so books as a Born Again believer I didn’t know that there was any thing at all pointing to Christ or even hinting at anyone in the series as a Christian. It was a well written good story, that’s why I read the whole series. But I would not classify it as Christian SyFy.

 

Unlike Narnia where the symbolism is parallel to Christianity and yet did not mention Jesus by name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Posted (edited)

I agree with you on that. @Bob Leone

As I see from your prior posts you make the case for a specific format and content to be considered "Christian". I guess that is a good way to define it.

I think I am working on the premise of writing a good Sci-Fi story that has my Christian Worldview embedded in it. It may not be overt, but anybody reading it will pick up the queues and make connections.

No matter what genre or how overt we may be, we have to rely on Holy Spirit to do the work in the reader. That's why I pray often when I write.

 

"Oh, Lord Yeshua Jesus, may the words of my hand and the intent of my heart be acceptable to thee."

 

Edited by Guest
attribution

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There needs to be more of the good clean Christian worldview writing there is a lot of trash out there.  Good luck in your endeavors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.