At first glance, I’m sure this seems like an easy question to answer. Christian fiction is a genre of fiction with some spiritual or inspirational message, often written by a Christian. Right? Maybe if you look at a Goodreads discussion. And, on a very basic level to the masses that pick up Christian fiction books, that seems to be the general understanding of the genre.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I don’t hold to that view. First off, let’s look at the definition of each word:
- A believer in the religion of Christ
- A real disciple of Christ; one who believes in the truth of Christian religion, and studies to follow the example, and obey the precepts, of Christ; a believer in Christ who is characterized by real piety.
Interesting how a word’s true definition can give a whole new perspective, huh? Notice how the first definition tends to be the one used when applied to fiction. We seem, as writers, to have balked at the second, deeper definition of Christian. How sad to have a book and label it as Christian simply because it is clean, has a couple of “Christian” characters, and people who wish they read more of their Bible. It is because of this deficit that I’m writing this series. Let’s continue.
- That which is feigned, invented, or imagined.
- The story is fiction
In essence, the writing of Christian fiction could and should be defined as:
Chris’tian Fic’tion, adj. n.
- The inventing or imagining of a story belonging to the religion of Christ, relating to Christ or His doctrines, precepts, and example.
That it is written by Christians should be a given. Our story, by very label, should belong to Christ and relate His doctrines, precepts, and example to the readers, whoever they might be. It’s a challenge, to be sure. Is it necessary? Hmm. Perhaps it is a convictional issue, but during this series, I’m going to do my best to convince you, dear writers, that it is a need. We will study the biblical definition of a Christian, what is expected of Christians, and how it relates to us and answer some of your questions. If this isn’t the content you’re looking for or this series doesn’t apply to you because you are not a Christian writer, I understand if you ignore this series and come back later. But I hope, certainly, that you might be willing to hear me out and pose questions.