"Power and Glory" (cropped) by artist Warner Sallman

* Not really Jesus.

One of the big issues I have with “Christian fiction” is that it purports to be fiction for Christians.

But I’m a Christian.

And I don’t like it.

I’m a Christian.

And the genres I read are not represented.

I Am Not Alone

I’m not the only one who feels this way. Nearly every Christian I know feels this lack. Something must be wrong with this picture. How many have turned to the world for fiction because of a failure to provide better or more varied “Christian fiction”? [tweetthis url=”http://clicktotweet.com/rJRzX” size=”ttsm”]

Church culture more often makes us feel that something must be wrong with us if we aren’t

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satisfied by what we find on the shelves of the Christian bookstore. All my life I have been content to shop elsewhere, hunting down acceptable entertainment in the world’s library. Ignoring the voices that said I must be some kind of heretic, I must be unsanctified in my reading habits… after all, how could science fiction or fairy tales possibly fit the Christian worldview? Oh, those voices! Little do they know…

Today, I’m standing up for all those who have searched the Christian bookstore, and found it wanting.

Friend, you are not weird. You are not lacking Christ. “Christian fiction” is lacking us. [tweetthis url=”http://clicktotweet.com/n1kuv”]

The readers, the writers, the voices, the stories that exist outside the walls of those bookstores whose name we share but whose boundaries we do not.

Have you felt betrayed by “Christian fiction”? How or why?

Do you enjoy “Christian fiction”? What do you like about it?



sparksofember · at

I read a massive variety of genres in fiction. So maybe why I haven’t felt quite as neglected as many of my fellow Christian fantasy/scifi lovers? I can fill up on Christian romantic stories like Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrooke series (sappy & cheesy but I tend to enjoy them), choke down a Lori Wick just so I can tell my sister I did since she begged despite how she knows I tend to feel about her books, and then go on a Star Wars and Fruits Basket binge to cleanse my palate. I go from Grace Livingston Hill to J.K. Rowling to George MacDonald to Anne McCaffrey to L.M. Montgomery to Lesley Livingston.

Plus, while I’d agree there isn’t nearly the quantity out there available to Christians, there isn’t a massive void either. I grew up on the Narnia Chronicles, Pilgrim’s Progress, Hind’s Feet on High Places, the Singer Trilogy, Frank Peretti’s Cooper Kid series (plus some of his adult books – I’ve only read a few – too scary for me!! lol), Lord of the Rings, C.S.Lewis’ Space trilogy, The Archives of Anthropos, and some others I don’t remember the names of.

Lynda · at

I also have a lot of variety in my fictional genre selection, but unlike sparksofember I feel almost completely neglected by the Christian fiction publishing community. There simply isn’t much there. At all.

Katherine Coble · at

If it was for Christians it might meet a need. But it is primarily for two subgroups:
1. White female cultural evangelical Christians aged 35-70
2. Publishers who like money, low hanging fruit, shooting fish in a barrel.

I can’t blame either group. The readers like what they like; the publishers like paying their bills.

The problem comes when we all start accepting–however reluctantly–that this small subset is Christian fiction. Not “some fiction for some Christians.”

And then we feel inferior because we like other things. The One Body has many parts. If only its books had many varieties.

    Teddi · at

    Katherine, your comment had me trying to picture Christian fiction as a body that was missing some parts, and when I realized how many parts were missing my mental landscape got pretty gruesome.

    Moving right along…

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