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Can Christian Authors NOT Write from a “Biblical Worldview”?

Can Christian Authors NOT Write from a “Biblical Worldview”?

by Mike Duran · 35 comments

At one time, the term “biblical worldview” was seen as a drift (albeit intentional) AWAY from explicit Christian fare. As a result, CBA / ECPA books containing little, if any, references to God or overt redemptive themes began to pop up in the Christian market. Christian authors wanting less sermonizing, less sanitizing, and more creative leg room found it under the “biblical worldview” banner. Now apparently, even Christian authors are hedging at the label.

This weekend, Christian author and film reviewer (and Christy Award nominee) Jeffrey Overstreet wrote this “disclaimer” on his Facebook page:

I do not write “from a Biblical Worldview.” Just, you know… for the record.

I’m not even sure what a “Biblical Worldview” is.

Many of the people I know who would say that they have a “Biblical Worldview” disagree with one another on many fundamental points.

I also know many writers who say they have a “Biblical Worldview” who are terrible writers, and many who would deny that they have a “Biblical Worldview” who write things that bless and inspire me.

So, yes, I have faith in Christ. But I would be reluctant to call my ever-changing, ever-evolving understanding a “Biblical Worldview.” Even in the Bible itself, heroes of the faith demonstrate some very different “worldviews.”

This was in response to a post entitled 15 Fantasy Authors Who Write From a Biblical Worldview in which Overstreet is included in a rather eclectic compilation of Christian authors.

While I can relate to Overstreet’s concern with the “Christian fiction” label (and have said as much in posts like THIS), my initial response to his thoughts was one of concern. Here’s why.

How “ever-changing, ever-evolving” can one’s worldview be and still remain “biblical”?

I mean, if I suddenly “evolve” into the belief that God is an extraterrestrial who seeded earth with spores and Jesus was just an ancient astronaut summoning us back to the planet Tatooine (home to the Great Pit of Carkoon), am I still “biblical”? Okay, so that’s an extreme example. But you get my point. The term “biblical worldview” is intentionally broad (which is why some Christian authors like it!). However, the fact that it contains the word “Bible” in it immediately limits its interpretative breadth. And us having roots on the planet Tatooine.

A “worldview” is defined as “The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.” This “perspective” is intrinsic to who we are. Because of this, someone who does not believe in God will have a difficult time consistently, deliberately, writing from a biblical worldview.

  • Can a humanist write from a biblical worldview?
  • Can an atheist write from a biblical worldview?
  • Can a Hindu write from a biblical worldview?
  • Can a hedonist write from a Christian worldview?
  • Can a polytheist write from a biblical worldview?

Of course, the above folks can often write beautiful, inspiring, moral, redemptive stories. God is known to haunt many an unbeliever. Nevertheless, biblical worldviews must have parameters or, at some point, they cease to be “biblical.”

Perhaps anticipating the kickback, later in the post Overstreet clarified:

What concerns me is the tendency to say “These authors are okay because they have a Biblical Worldview” … because the influence of the Bible on my worldview does not have any bearing on whether my books are worth reading. And I think the category suggests that authors with “Biblical Worldviews” are somehow safe, or similar.

Aha! Now this is something I agree with. Just because an author writes from a “biblical worldview” is no guarantee that their stories “are somehow safe, or similar.” Furthermore, belief in the Bible does not miraculously make one a good writer. In this, we concur.

Nevertheless, I think Overstreet’s real complaint here is not with what it means to write from a “biblical worldview,” but how the label has been incorporated (or hijacked) by the mainstream CBA / ECPA market. As I see it, Overstreet is distancing himself from what the “biblical worldview” has come to mean in publishing jargon, not an actual Christian belief system (although it is a bit disconcerting to hear a Christian author proclaim an “ever-evolving” belief system) . While “biblical worldview” fiction once delineated stories outside the traditional genre, now the term is employed, ad hoc, for ALL Christian fiction. Which is why Jeffrey Overstreet is so easily (perhaps carelessly) grouped with other mainstream CBA authors.

The term “biblical worldview” has now become synonymous with mainstream Christian fiction. Which makes me wonder whether or not we do some Christian writers and their stories a disservice by including them therein.

But while I share Overstreet’s reluctance about being labeled as a “Christian fiction” author, I’m not at all worried about being portrayed as having a “biblical worldview.” Why? Because I have one! Sure, we can debate the parameters. But as long as we use the same Bible, there ARE parameters.

Perhaps my bigger question is: Can Christians authors NOT write from a biblical worldview? I don’t see how. So while this may be more of an attempt to distance himself from the Christian fiction genre (which I totally understand), as long as Jeffrey Overstreet remains a Christian, is it possible for him to NOT write from a “biblical worldview”?

Your thoughts…

 

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay October 9, 2011 at 8:36 PM

“Can Christians authors NOT write from a biblical worldview?”

What if the author does a 1st person from an atheist’s point of view? Would it matter if the world he/she inhabits is the proper Christian one? Or if it’s another belief system.

Didn’t mean to answer your question with questions, but I think they’re relevant.

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Mike Duran October 10, 2011 at 4:47 AM

It’s a good question, Jay. One of the antag’s in The Telling is an atheist and I have several scenes through his POV. I don’t think the issue is whether or not a Christian can write from an atheist’s POV, but whether or not our own worldview is intrinsic to everything we write. Can we ever escape our own worldview paradigm? So as a Christian, we would see atheism through a biblical worldview. Does that make sense? In like manner, an atheist could write from the POV of a Christian character. But in the end, his worldview can’t help but taint that character. Great question! I’d love to hear what others think.

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Erica October 9, 2011 at 9:58 PM

This is a great blog post and should be discussed by many because it concerns both readers, writers,a nd marketers.

As a Christian Fiction Examiner online, I read plenty of “secular/non-biblical books”, but plenty more Christian Fiction and Nonfiction and although Overstreet has mention that biblical wordlview is “changing” I am quite concerned. What exactly is changing about it? Are we trying to please people by stating something opposite of what we believe?

I know I can’t talk becasue I prefer Speculative/Romantic fiction- and many times the worldview is not my own but makes for good story.

So back to your question, Mike: Can Christian authors not write from a biblical worldview? Well… As a Christian is it possible for any of us writers, including Overstreet to not write in a biblical worldview? It’s possible, if you know what your goals and audiences are.

If you are trying to reach saints in the Christian/Church community, then having a biblical worldview subtly or overtly in your books may bode well with them.

If you are a YA author, staying with the “times” is key, but what would be your message in the work to teens? Will it be biblical? Does it have to biblical? Will it be biblical anyway?

If you’re like me then you’d just want to write a good story with something that will stick in minds and hearts…the bible always stuck in my heart…

Thanks!

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Mike Duran October 10, 2011 at 5:52 AM

Erica, as I see it “biblical worldview” fiction doesn’t have to have an overt message. Which was why some Christian authors initially embraced the term. Framing a world where there is real good and evil, where godlessness and immorality does not satisfy, where actions have consequences, and where something exists beyond the here and now, are all elements of a biblical worldview. Good stories can have all these elements and not be explicit, predictable, or preachy. Thanks for commenting!

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Erica October 10, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Hi Mike!

Thanks for the reply! I agree to what you’ve said. It does make sense to me.

Keep posting!

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Manahania October 10, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Historical analysis would quickly marinate worldview certainty in doubt. The labels “Christian” and “Biblical Worldview” are left wanting having been weighed and measured by time and human activity to come up deficient. Take the latest “Christian leaders” in case, Pat Robertson presents Mitt Romney as a good Christian :
http://www.christianpost.com/news/pat-robertson-mitt-romney-an-outstanding-christian-57017/
and Robert Jeffress calls him a cultist:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/pastor-endorsed-perry-friday-says-romney-cultist-214202497.html
2000 years after the Christ, the definitions for “Biblical Worldview” and “Christian” is as controversial today as it has ever been. Then, when the Christ was sought after by Jews, Greeks, Romans and others, their motivations of the heart to do so and their objectives were as doubtful as they are today. There are many reasons why this is so. Which one of you is prepared and able to cut through the red tape and assure all to have defined both according to the TRUTH?
Is there room for an evolving worldview as to biblical truth? How can there not be? The author said once: “I could tell you much more, but you couldn’t bear it now.” This Overstreet, you use to nestle your inquiry, may have thought this through and it prompted him to place himself so not to present a finished product either.

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Mike Duran October 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Manahania, the Church has historically maintained that certain beliefs are central and non-negotiable. These beliefs are extrapolated from Scripture. Veering from those can lead one, ultimately, into heresy. Which is why the idea of an evolving worldview can be a dangerous one, specifically if one is evolving from orthodoxy to heterodoxy. Thanks for commenting!

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Manahania October 11, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Mike,
I am aware that there are groups that subscribe to largely differing interpretations of the Bible among Christians. I am also aware that there are core beliefs that are shared by a large constituency around the world. I do not interpret Overstreet’s careful positioning as evidence for an infringement upon the Kerygma. I see it much more an opportunity for him to speak more freely, staying aloof of the stereotypes cast by those who lay on heavy their peculiar takes on the Bible as if they had a straight in with ===.

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Jonathan October 10, 2011 at 3:16 AM

Yes I think a Christian author can write from a non-biblical worldview–if they shift their belief system so much they are no longer Christian. You make a good point though. One of my favorite authors is Ted Dekker, who seems to be attempting to run from the moniker as well. The benefits are exactly what he has aimed for his whole career. While he desires to write for Christians, he hopes the latent Christianity in his books gets the message to non-Christians, too. This, I think, is why there is a desire to run from the label as you describe Overstreet doing.

In my own writing I face a similar issue. Unquestionably the underlying theme and meaning to my work in progress is a biblical message, but the book may not meet the standards of the CBA. Am I writing an unpublishable book? Denying a books biblical worldview may be the best way to slip in Christian themes to the non-Christian market and readers. What else might work?

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GB October 10, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Is anyone else as bothered by Mr. Overstreet’s comments as me? He seems to be backing away from orthodoxy.

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Katherine Coble October 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Me.

I get that he may be writing books that aren’t for the Christian Fiction market, but I would think that any Christian would want to never eschew a Biblical Worldview because, after all, isn’t that what Christ has called us to?

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Jessica Thomas October 10, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Hmm. Wow. We do seem to be getting lost in semantics. Quite honestly it becomes tiring. Not knowing much about Overstreet, my first inclination is that Christian artists who continually shy away from the Christian label, do so out of not so pure motives. First thing that comes to mind is their bottom line. Are they worried the label “Christian” will negatively affect their pocket book? (For the record, I’ve wrestled with this line of thinking.) Or, do they not want to truly commit to Christ, therefore, are creating themselves a convenient escape clause? “Yes, I am a Christian, but I never said my stories were Christian, so I can write whatever I want, even if it’s trash, or I can live my life however I want because I’ve never claimed to be representing Christ.” (Wrestled with those trains of thought as well.)

On some level, I think it always comes across that the artist is in some way ashamed of Christ…whether that’s their intention or not.

In Overstreet’s case, maybe he just dislikes the term “Biblical worldview”, but come on, the English language is limited. We only have so many words. First is was “Christian” (1 word), then it was “Biblical worldview” (two words). Now it takes an entire quote to explain it (20 words plus. I stopped counting)?

“So, yes, I have faith in Christ. But I would be reluctant to call my ever-changing, ever-evolving understanding a “Biblical Worldview.” Even in the Bible itself, heroes of the faith demonstrate some very different “worldviews.”

I think people need to lighten up a bit, and stop worrying so much about real or perceived labels. Just write!

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Erica October 10, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Jessica,

Exactly. This is why I mentioned in my initial post”Are we trying to please people?”

I write for pure enjyoment. If I claim to be something, then it will be shown in my writing anyway. However my concern is the mobility of terms…

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Greg Mitchell October 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Jessica. I agree with everything you just said.

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Jessica Thomas October 10, 2011 at 7:22 AM

I’ll add too that no matter how writers like Dekker or Overstreet try to position themselves in the market, they are most likely placing themselves there strategically. Why? Because, ultimately they are trying to win people to Christ. So we can switch the labels around all we want, be direct or subtle, the fact is as Christians, we have a motive: to change people. No matter how we package it, some people are going to perceive our desire to have them know Christ as nothing more than manipulative, controlling behavior.

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Erica October 10, 2011 at 9:24 AM

How true…

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xdpaul October 10, 2011 at 7:53 AM

I recall some Barna research that indicated that something like 11% of all Christians in the U.S. adhere to a “biblical worldview.” Take that number with a grain of salt – it is my memory of a survey, after all, not a fact. The point is that it was a very small percentage of Christians.

I would guess that a much higher percentage (but perhaps not a majority) of Christian authors adhere, whether they admit for marketing purposes or not, to holding a CW.

If you hold a CW, you can’t but help write from a CW.

Asimov wrote from a humanist worldview, and won many earthly awards not for his literature, but his worldview!

I’d find it remarkable to find an author who doesn’t see his worldview expressed through his fiction, whether he wants to express it or not.

The problem with worldview is that it often gets confused with salvation: salvation is instantaneous, brought by the power of the Holy Spirit through the sacrifice of Jesus. Worldview is the result of the active transformation of the mind.

Worldview is, in one sense, the harder work – one that the Christian is very much a partner in, rather than the “mere” recipient of a gift. So, some with the CW assume that all who are saved share that worldview, and many who are saved assume that whatever worldview they hold is a CW, by nature of their salvation!

Worldview should be a fruit of the renewal of the mind, but it also will not be an “evolving” thing, but a further clarified thing. In other words, one with the CW might see its details clarify: from one in which God has a mysterious hand in the act of creation, for example, to one in which God is seen as a carpenter of the world.

But someone with a CW won’t see that “evolve” from one in which Satan has dominion over the world, to one in which Satan is actually a god worthy of worship.

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xdpaul October 10, 2011 at 8:10 AM

One last point: Overstreet is flat out wrong that the heroes of the bible have different worldviews.

Every one of the heroes of the bible had faith in God (see Hebrews if you think I’m making stuff up) and a relationship with him. None of them would have conflicted with the other over general worldview Daniel for example, would not have found Dagon any more worthy of worship (pantheistic worldview) than Samson! David would have agreed with Isaiah that adultery is not a natural, healthy expression, but a terrible sin.

Solomon was wise enough to know God’s view of monogamy, and sinful enough to reject it.

Just because the heroes of the bible, including the disciples, fought one another on many, many things, God’s authority, worthiness of worship, place in creation and call on their lives to obedience and faith most certainly wasn’t one of them.

From Adam to Omega, the heroes worldviews, in fact, were identical.

Sometimes, I think people get caught up in worshiping a cult of individuality that they try to see divisions in pre-existing, undeniable unity.

A CW is not a cookie cutter: it is a framework through which truth is most clearly understood. Again, back to the renewal of the mind. After all: don’t you suppose that if the Holy Spirit is working with God’s followers to transform the mind so that it better submits to the will and vision of God, that that continually crystallized worldview will be shared, and less in dispute?

I find this to be borne out in experience: the more Christians discuss worldview, the greater the accord: discord comes in disputes over details, not in worldview.

It is especially terrible when shared worldview denominations bitterly split over details like worship music. The clash of worldviews is tough enough: when christian body parts separate over non-worldview disagreements (obviously Christians must break worship ties, for example, with a church that wants to worship Gaia, or something), its a mess.

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Erica October 10, 2011 at 9:28 AM

This is why my husband and I are done with organization and “church rules”-the same arguments Christians have about literature and worship music has filtered into media and blogs.

It is important to discuss no doubt, however if we focus on The Mission: Reaching communities, educating, bringing souls to Christ, things probably wouldn’t seem as “dicey”

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xdpaul October 10, 2011 at 2:40 PM

It is so easy to get distracted, every single day. I think this is the reason why our faith requires that we stop practicing necrophilia (Eph 4:22-24) and instead commit suicide (2nd Cor. 4:16-17).

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Lewinna October 10, 2011 at 11:33 AM

I’m happy to see that my good friend and one of my favorite fantasy authors, Bryan Davis, is ensconced on the Biblical worldview page! :)

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Jill October 10, 2011 at 4:08 PM

My own Christian worldview has changed dramatically–evolved, as it were–over my adulthood. Yes, the early Christian fathers had different ideas on how to live a Christian life. How could this not be true when an Israelite belief system collided with the worldviews of the nations? See the book of Acts for the infighting among even the Jewish church fathers.
Most Christians I know and have known are of the Anabaptist persuasion. But before the Anabaptist movement, the Christian worldview was quite different. Even between non Anabaptist types such as RCs, E. Orthodox, and Lutherans, you will find differing world views. In light of that, how could Overstreet’s statements be false? I, for one, am a defender of infant baptism and have incorporated scenes depicting baptisms into multiple stories. How many of my Christian friends would argue against it? How many people reading this comment would argue against it? Twenty years ago, I would have argued against it.

So, no, I don’t really have a problem with Overstreet’s statements. However, I had a dream the other night in which a man enigmatically told me, “It’s not so much ecumenical as it is a square structure with sides.” Of course, the statement had no context–it literally came out of a dream vacuum. But I took “it” to mean that truth is contained within a limited space, but that the space itself has multiple sides.

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xdpaul October 10, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Infant baptism is irrelevant to worldview. Two Christians can share a biblical worldview (that is, that the bible provides the primary framework through which God express Himself, and through which His beloved may best develop in relationship to His Kingdom) and completely disagree on minor points of doctrine.

I think you may be confusing terms, but I could be wrong about that.

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Jill October 11, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Infant baptism represents a larger world view. Churches who don’t do this subscribe to an individualism that colors everything they do. I would call that a world view.

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Tim George October 11, 2011 at 9:40 AM

What a shame to understand worldview this way. I am a Reformed Baptist by persuasion. The doctrine of our church comes closest to what God has led me to in my spiritual journey. We do not practice infant baptism. Yet the churches we have the most affinity with in our area do practice infant baptism. We are united by a framework of understanding that is more basic than modes of baptism.

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Jill October 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Um, I didn’t mean this as an insult, but as a fundamental difference in thinking. Infant baptism is just one part of the picture that would divide an RC or Lutheran perspective from an Anabaptist one, and part of that has to do with the individualistic thinking of the Enlightenment from which Anabaptist churches sprang. A Calvinist bent is also a worldview that is at variance with other biblical Christian worldviews. I bring this up because these worldviews tend to color (for good or bad, depending on what side you’re on) how the adherents read and interpret scripture. I would assume that reformed Baptists are in fellowship with other reform churches, some of which do perform infant baptisms.

But my ultimate point has to do w/ Overstreet’s quote. He said he wasn’t even sure what a biblical worldview is. I don’t either. Look at the Left Behind books, for example. I personally wouldn’t want to be lumped into that worldview. You can claim that a worldview is broad and only incorporates general biblical morality and the gospel, but our doctrinal visions have a bearing on what is moral and what isn’t. Even the gospel isn’t untouched by differing worldviews. A universalist Christian believes all people will be saved no matter what, and they back up their belief with scripture (weakly, in my opinion). But that’s not the same gospel that’s preached at my church.

So, this kind of understanding is a shame because . . . ? I can guarantee you that my church (Missouri Synod Lutheran) wouldn’t be in fellowship with yours–that’s the real shame. These worldviews are divisive, yet they are fundamentally at odds with each other. I believe Overstreet was being egalitarian, to be honest. Take his art for what it is, know that he’s a Christian (he doesn’t try to hide that), but don’t try to pin his art to a worldview.

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Tom Farr October 10, 2011 at 4:33 PM

I think a biblical worldview determines our assumptions about what is true in the world. God exists, and he has and idea of how humanity should live. Not everyone in our stories will act from a biblical worldview, but everything we write will be informed by a biblical worldview. For example, if our writing glorifies murder or adultery as innocent behavior, we’re not writing from a biblical worldview.

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Tim George October 10, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Thanks for expressing your views with balance here Mike. I think there is perhaps a bit of misunderstanding of what a worldview is. A couple of have done good service by pointing out a Biblical worldview is not a systematic theology on which all agree. It is, as already stated, a framework of understanding.

Why would someone writing for a publisher selling through the Christian Booksellers Association shy away from espousing a basic framework of understanding that accepts the reality of God, good, evil, grace, sin, and man’s need for redemption? Asimov (whom I admire as a writer) had not qualms about his atheistic worldview. He never once apologized for it or apparently worried how others might receive it. Perhaps if we all just wrote whatever, however God leads us to write and quit worrying about perceptions we would all be better off.

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xdpaul October 10, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Hear, hear! I’d go a step farther: it is a damnable thing to hide one’s native worldview, and all the saved lived in a Christian world (known more commonly as the Kingdom of Heaven). Having the proper (and universal) worldview to match it is a very simple matter of maturity and clarity.

Of course now we see through a lens darkly, so just because the “view” may be blurry in some regard doesn’t mean the object of our vision may be both, for example, a lamb AND a dragon.

The notion of Asimov denying his worldview in light of his stories makes me laugh out loud? Why don’t we find Overstreet’s scrambling equally ridiculous?

It is silly to deny the obvious. If he sees Christ as Lord of all, his worldview, however rudimentary, is of the Christian type. If he does not, well, then, that is altogether another question.

At its most rudimentary, all it takes to hold a CW is to believe that the tortured, slain corpse of Jesus of Nazareth very literally rose from the dead as He predicted it would, 3 days on. If you hold that to be true, you view a world that is undeniably different from the models claimed by other philosophies, faiths, and beliefs.

I don’t understand why this is controversial among the brethren. It isn’t even controversial among the lost!

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Rebecca LuElla Miller October 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Can a Christian not write from a Biblical worldview? The framework that colors my belief system will always be the way I look at the world, but I don’t have to show that in my writing.

I’ve used the example before of covering sports for my local paper. I did approach my work from my Biblical worldview, but the stories I wrote didn’t look any different from those my non-Christian colleagues wrote.

In addition, I know of a Christian writer published in the ABA who has not one shred of evidence on his website that he has a Biblical worldview. He hasn’t included a word about his religious underpinnings. Does he need to?

The statement that I think is false and which I saw twice in one for or another as I skimmed through the comments is this: “If I claim to be something, then it will be shown in my writing anyway.” The idea is, if I claim to be a Christian, then it will be shown in my writing that I’m a Christian — i. e. I can’t help it.

There are two problems with this, at least. Statements can be false. I can claim I’m a good writer, but that doesn’t make it so. Someone can claim to have a Biblical worldview, though he’s never read the Bible through. He may believe his claim, but believing it won’t make it so.

The second problem with the “it will out” idea is that we then have to admit that our sin nature will also “out” because that is also who we are. So if we think holding a Biblical worldview is enough for us to write stories in which readers will see that worldview, what do we do with the fact that those same stories also come from our greed and hate and jealousy and fear and … Which “wins”?

I don’t think I’m saying this well, but my belief is that expressing our worldview is intentional, not accidental.

Becky

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xdpaul October 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I totally get what you are saying, yet completely disagree. Let’s take your first example: newspaper articles.

1st, there are five required elements in the 400 words (if a journalist is lucky) for the reportage of news: Who, What, When, Where and Why.

An atheist reporter’s 5 W’s should match the Christian’s 5 W’s in most cases. So, theoretically, your argument seems true. However, I can think of several exceptions to this in practice. The differences can often be subtle, but worldview most definitely shows up in the newspaper, and can be influenced by editors, headline writers and publishers as well as individual reporters.

Here’s one example of differing worldviews, just by headlines alone:

“Priest Frees 14-Year-Old Boy Reported Held in Devil’s Grip.”

“Church Heads in Spin Over ‘Exorcism’ Crisis.”

The first is written from a CW, the other from a skeptical or humanistic worldview.

I doubt any reporter worth her salt sits down and analyzes her worldview before breaking out the Underwood. But I know without a doubt that, even with the strict confines of word count and the 5 W’s, worldview makes a big difference, not every time, but usually.

And fiction has a lot more space to play in, and therefore greater opportunity for one’s view to shine through.

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Bronwen Scott-Branagan October 21, 2011 at 1:53 AM

I agree with Becky that, while we are Christian, we can write from a secular point of view, and sometimes need to. However, as we are ‘in the world, but not of the world’, it is our responsibility to be accountable for what we write. A good guide for all our writing is to ask ourselves:
“Would Jesus write this?” If not, it is better left unsaid.

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Anthony Mathenia November 3, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Would Jesus write this?

“Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!” – Psalm 137:9

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manahania November 3, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Hi there Anthony :)
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…
So yes, He is the author, remember?
So yes He said that and more!
Luke 12:46
the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
Don’t know which is worse?
The following is just a little taste of what is out there in terms of human analysis of the problem of evil.
“There cannot be enough possible evidence to conclude the point that genetics play the most important role in the outcome or behavior of an individual. The opposing viewpoint of environmental factors is not without its doubts either as to being the prominent factor influencing antisocial or criminal behavior of an individual. In this paper, there is more evidence supporting the genetics viewpoint, but that does not mean it is more important. With the research and studies having numerous flaws and the inability to adequately separate nature and nurture, there is still a great debate between genetic and environmental factors.”
http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/jones.html
Job once said it would have been better if he had never seen the light of day, and he was a good guy. So it seems that the Bible is teaching that sometimes taking harm or even death in this life is better than the alternative. It is amazingly complicated and no one scripture can figure this all out. I think God himself is having a hard time with it all and actually regretted at one point in His life having created human beings all together. God eventually resigns to the fact that humans are incredibly posed to doing harm to each other and this poor little planet.
It all strikes us so hard because most of us have not seen the perils, the brutality of human war.

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Jonathan Myers January 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I think Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is a good answer to this. Tolkien created a ‘mythical’ work that has been embraced by readers of many nations. races, cultures and faiths- but his Christian faith still bleeds through the work whether a secular/non-christian reader knows this or not. For Professor Tolkien he was a writer and a christian and the two could exist in his masterwork. I use this as a guide to my own writing pursuits.

I am firstly a Christian and I am secondly an artist. My responsibility is to Christ then to my art. I belive this question is truly a matter of spiritual priorities.

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