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Fiction & Theology — Part Two

Fiction & Theology — Part Two

by Mike Duran · 19 comments

In Part One, I responded to the suggestion that I believe “that theology ought not be ‘imposed’ on [Christian] fiction.” I clarified that I see it as a matter of degree.

“As Christians, theology should be a lens we view everything through, especially art… The question is not IF theology should be imposed on our fiction, but HOW MUCH theology should we impose upon our fiction.”

Point being that theology and fiction are two different things; imposition is not an option, degree is.

The imposition of strict theology upon our fiction leads to the inevitable nitpicking of tropes and story elements that we find in so many Christian circles.

Hence, why some Christians believe that Christian fiction should not contain zombies (unless they are not-really-dead ones).

In this post, I wanted to take up the second objection suggesting that I believe “a Biblical framework must by definition limit our imagination.”

II.) I DO NOT believe theology should limit our imagination.

Becky Miller, in her article Reading, Truth, and the Bible, and in response to what she believes my position is, writes (and I’m quoting her at length to assure getting the context):

…I suggest that the Christian is the best person to imagine. (See, for example, “’Christian Speculative Fiction’ Is Not An Oxymoron”). God has made us in His own image–which would suggest that we are, by nature of our similitude to Him, creative beings, though we cannot create from nothing. Rather, what we create comes from something already made, and therefore, from God’s world. We simply re-fashion what exists into something of our invention. Of course this is true of all humans. Nevertheless, the Christian’s imagination has been baptized by Truth.

Speculation, then, is not the problem.

The error, I maintain, is Mike Duran’s position that theology ought not be “imposed” on fiction. In my way of thinking, that statement is like saying, realism ought not be imposed on characters.

Instead, if anything should be true in fiction, theology–or “religious beliefs and theory” about God–ought to be true. (emphasis mine)

First, I agree with much of this. The problem is that Becky is moving to the false conclusion that “Mike Duran’s position [is] that theology ought not be ‘imposed’ on fiction.” Again, this is an inaccurate portrayal of what I believe.

Secondly, while I whole-heartedly agree that “the Christian is the best person to imagine” and our fictional imaginations should be “baptized by Truth,” Becky and I seem to disagree on the extent to which Truth should cordon our fictional imaginations. She writes,

“… good stories will tell some aspect of truth without muddling it or bogging it down with a lot of untruth. I’ll make the comparison again with fictional characters, which writers and readers alike seem to believe should be depicted realistically.

Would a character seem realistic if at some points in the story he were assigned two legs and at other stages, four? Clearly not. Now a world could be envisioned in which a character did have four legs; one might even exist in which the number of legs characters have, fluctuates. But that this imagined world worked this way must be shown if the change is to be believable.

Otherwise, readers would assume the author had made a mistake–perhaps left out the scene in which the character gained the two extra legs or that an editorial error left the discrepancy in place. At worst, the reader would fall into complete confusion.

So too with inerrant theology. Is there an omnipotent, sovereign, good God, or does a person look within to find enlightenment? The two beliefs are not compatible. One is Truth and the other, error.

Can both positions reside in a story? Certainly. Because there are people who hold those two disparate views, there can be characters who do also. But if an author doesn’t finish a story well, a reader may be left believing that either position is equally true.” (emphasis mine)

There’s lots to consider here. Becky’s essential point, as I see it, is that fictional characters and God “should [both] be depicted realistically.” Again, it’s in the application of these things that Christian expectations bog down

What I’ll argue here is that the imposition of theology on fiction by many Christian readers has less to do with a fictional universe containing a “realistic depiction” of “an omnipotent, sovereign, good God” as what constitutes “muddling” or “bogging [stories] down with a lot of untruth.”

For example:

  • Do zombies “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Does a protagonist who believes in evolution “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Do magic spells or incantations “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Do ghosts “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Do R-rated elements (language, violence, sex) “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Do fictional gods “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Do immoral superheroes “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Does unpunished sin “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Does a good vampire “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?
  • Does inarticulate theology “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?

While I would agree in the necessity of our fictional worlds framing or postulating “an omnipotent, sovereign, good God,” the debate in Christian circles seems far more concerned with peripherals — like zombies, spells, unpunished sin, bad language, and good evolutionists.

In this way, I contend, Christian artists often DO allow theology — or a flawed application of theology — to limit their imaginative reach.

Apologist Francis Schaeffer rightly said,

“The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.”

Today’s Christian fiction reader, however, seems more worried about the means of flight and the nature of the stars we traverse, as they do the imagination God’s given to take us there. God forbid we fly in unbiblical ways amongst stars that don’t really burn.

The point here is to highlight how our approach to fiction can often be as problematic as the stories themselves. Am I suggesting that we should put down our “theological” guard when we read and be less discerning? Absolutely not. But we need to see fiction as doing something different than simply illustrating and reinforcing Bible doctrine.

About his then-recent viewing of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, C.S. Lewis wrote:

“…[the play] is merely the scaffolding whereby Shakespeare (probably unconsciously) is able to give us an image of the whole idea of resurrection, [and] I was simply overwhelmed. You will say that I am here doing to Shakespeare just what I did to Macdonald… Perhaps I am. I must confess that more and more the value of plays and novels becomes for me dependent on the moments when, by whatever artifice, they succeed in expressing the great myths.”

– C.S. Lewis from a letter dated September 5, 1931 (emphasis mine)

Notice that Lewis describes the actual play as simply “scaffolding” for a bigger idea. Scaffolding — I like that image. In fact, it is this big idea (here, the great myths), expressed “by whatever artifice,” that characterize the great tales. Alas, when we become preoccupied with a story’s “scaffolding” and niggle over literary “artifices,” we will inevitably miss the bigger story.

Nevertheless, many Christian readers seem to allow “scaffolding” (like zombies, magic spells, and bad superheroes) to “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth.” Discernment is inflated to mean not just what the story’s big idea is, but whether zombies, ghosts, leprechauns, or four-legged evolutionists are used as a means of conveying them.

The truth is, for some fiction writers, theology makes the world smaller, not bigger.

This is not meant to suggest that there are no moral, physical, or spiritual boundaries, but that the boundaries the Bible frames are bigger than what many Christians concede. Which is why Scripture  contains fabulous stories about talking serpents, flaming chariots, angelic warriors, dead men caught up to the third heaven, and resurrected men who live to die a second time. The world of Scripture is, indeed, stranger than much fiction. Of course, there is such a thing as heresy and false doctrine, and believers do well to “test all things” (I Thess. 5:21). This, however, is not a license to “quench the Spirit” (I Thess. 5:21). A theology that strips the world of mystery is not only Spirit-quenching, it is out of whack with reality.

The tension between Christian theology and fiction is always on the believer’s end. By that I mean, the person without a theology, per se, has no coda by which judge their fiction (existentially speaking). Everything is permissible. The Christian reader and/or writer of fiction, however, SHOULD check their stories against the Bible. Conversely, sometimes those same readers / writers need check their theology there as well. Yes, some fiction is contrary to the biblical worldview, incongruous with Christian theology. But a world that is completely stripped of mystery is not only boring, it is not biblical.

G.K. Chesterton put it this way:

The function of imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange; not so much to make wonders facts as to make facts wonders.

Christian fiction should “make strange things settled,” and “settled things strange.” Sadly, the overly strict imposition of theology on our fiction not only renders our stories strangely unimaginative, it makes our imaginative muscles rather puny.

Rather than cultivating discernment and rendering creative license, we become “scaffold inspectors,” making sure every plank and cross-beam meets a theological standard. No wands. Check. No spells. Check. No ghosts. Check. No zombies. Check. No crystal balls. Check. No evolutionists. Check.  No broomsticks. Check. All this in the hopes of not muddling or bogging down the tale with “a lot of untruth.”

So to summarize, I DO NOT believe theology should limit our imagination. I believe theology should fire our imagination. I believe that Christians should be the most wildly imaginative, creative artists on the planet! The real question for the Christian fiction writer is simply, how much theology should we rightly impose upon our stories?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyn Perry February 12, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Excellent thoughts. And the scaffolding scrutiny doesn’t stop with contemporary fiction. I had a person ask me what kind of worm ate the vine that shaded despairing Jonah after he preached in Nineveh. Sigh.

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R. L. Copple February 13, 2014 at 2:21 AM

A zombie worm, of course.

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Steve Rzasa February 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

“While I would agree in the necessity of our fictional worlds framing or postulating ‘an omnipotent, sovereign, good God,’ ” …

See, as far as I’m concerned, that statement is the best thing for all Christian writers to agree upon. Debating everything else is fine by me. I too don’t think anything should hinder our imaginations.

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Rebecca LuElla Miller February 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Since I’m the first to comment on this post, Mike, I’m wondering if you and I are the only two people still interested in this subject. ;-)

I think we agree far more than we disagree, that perhaps I didn’t understand your views from what you wrote in previous posts. From what you’ve written here, the only things I can say are questionable are these:

1) Your list of questions about what might be considered untruth that bogs down a story from being true in the ultimate sense. Of course zombies aren’t true, but neither is Narnia or Aslan. Your questions aren’t about theology. They’re about . . . how did you term it? “a flawed application of theology.”

I think we can agree that a flawed application of theology ought not hold a story hostage. It’s not truth, so how can it serve as a touchstone for truth in a story?

2) The second thing I disagree with is this: “the debate in Christian circles seems far more concerned with peripherals.” I know some of what James Somers wrote in his guest post at Spec Faith initiated a return to this line of thinking, but James’s views are his own. He is a self-published author speaking of his own experience and laying out his own standards. Any number of writers have their own manner of reconciling what they write with what they believe, and I certainly don’t fault James for the way he has decided, though I see the matter quite differently.

Instead of picking up one individual’s views as endemic, I think you and those who read your blog will get a better idea of what “Christian circles” care about regarding speculative fiction if you read the stories. So, yes, I was happy when you took up the challenge to read Patrick Carr’s A Cast of Stones, but I get the feeling that there’s sort of a lingering, well-that’s-epic-fantasy justification. The fact is, whether you read Robert Treskillard’s Merlin’s Shadow with its wichery and druids and pagan worship or you read Jill Williamson’s Safe Lands dystopian books with a character caught in an their in-you-face battle with lust or you read Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Wood series with its dragonwitch, shape-shifting faeries, demons marching up from their prison through an unguarded portal, the speculative stories coming from traditional houses putting out Christian fiction is not “concerned with peripherals” in the way you’re describing.

So I wonder if you’d be game for another challenge. I said last time that the book that ought to shatter the misconceptions about Christian speculative fiction is Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I hesitate only because it’s a middle in the series book and there are worldbuilding things and characters that someone picking that book up first will probably struggle with. But if you’d be willing to take the plunge, I’ll be happy to give you as much info about the world as I can garner.

As an added note, I’m currently reading One Realm Beyond by Donita Paul. While this is still a book in the line of her other “cozy fantasies,” the story takes place in a multiverse and there are wizards, shape-shifting dragons, mind-reading realm walkers, and portals between worlds. And God is supreme over it all.

I mention Donita’s book because she is one of those writers who advanced the cause of Christian speculative fiction ten years ago, showing that her books about wizards could sell.

All this to say, whatever “Christian circles” you’re referring to are small and getting smaller. They should in no way be used to characterize the attitude of the majority of Christian readers.

Becky

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Jessica Thomas February 13, 2014 at 6:59 AM

“All this to say, whatever ‘Christian circles’ you’re referring to are small and getting smaller.”

This seems true to me as well.

Donita Paul actually takes it a bit too far for me in a couple places, but I’ll save that for next week’s blog tour. ;)

Yesterday, I had another one of my “uh oh” moments, as I was studying the trending of American Christianity toward mysticism, paganism, and liberalism. I do see this as a major problem, and for a moment I thought, “Am I contributing to the problem by writing and supporting Christian speculative fiction?” It’s not that I think Christian speculative fiction is “bad”, it’s that I question this generations ability to think critically and to discern right from wrong. As a writer who wants to please God, I feel I must take this into consideration when creating my stories.

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Rebecca LuElla Miller February 13, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Yesterday, I had another one of my “uh oh” moments, as I was studying the trending of American Christianity toward mysticism, paganism, and liberalism. I do see this as a major problem, and for a moment I thought, “Am I contributing to the problem by writing and supporting Christian speculative fiction?” It’s not that I think Christian speculative fiction is “bad”, it’s that I question this generations ability to think critically and to discern right from wrong.

Jessica, I think that’s why I fight so hard for Christians to write Truth. And yet, the reality is, spiritual things are discerned spiritually. If a Christian story shows God in an overt way, no matter how well incorporated and natural, many unbelievers dismiss it as propaganda. And some will simply dismiss the truth of it altogether as lies or fabrication or myth. I’ll never forget some of the responses, for example, of The Passion. One columnist thought the idea of God killing his son showed how cruel he was.

But the other side is stories that are more oblique. Again, a newspaper columnist in response to Narnia said she’d read the stories and had no idea there was supposed to be something Christian about them.

In the end, if we put Truth in our stories, we can do no more. Readers will take and make of them what they will.

Becky

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Mike Duran February 13, 2014 at 7:19 AM

Becky, thanks for commenting.

1.) While we might agree that “a flawed application of theology” is what bogs a story down, I believe that if we discussed the particulars of those “applications,” we would find much more disagreement. I believe “a flawed application of theology” is what defines much of Christian art. The very idea of “Christian fiction” incorporates a theology, of sorts. Some of the theological elements that relate to Christian fiction would include a.) defining Christian art, b.) the role of the Christian artist, c.) the Christian subculture, and a host of other peripherals that all appeal to some perceived “biblical” parameters. The inclusion / exclusion of zombies is a window into a much larger theological approach Christian writers / readers bring to the table.

2.) It seems like whenever we have this discussion, you return to the same argument: “Mike, you wouldn’t hold these opinions if you read more Christian fiction.” As if the solution is “keep reading.”So I’m not surprised that you’re trying to issue “another challenge.” This time, however, I’m passing. I’m confident that I read enough Christian fiction (currently reading one now, as a matter of fact), am familiar enough with Christian fiction writers and the industry, to speak knowledgeably on the subject. The worldview expressed by Somers is NOT an isolated incident. Egads! I can quote ad naseum from readers, reviewers, and authors who are critical about some perceived theological infraction occurring in a “so-called Christian book.” At this stage, I’m thinking the next “challenge” should be on your end — to read something other than just Christian fiction.

Appreciate the interaction!

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Rebecca LuElla Miller February 13, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Mike, I respect your decision not to do another reading challenge. The first one was fun, I thought, and did showcase the direction the Christian publishers are taking speculative fiction as much as any one book can.

I don’t get a chance to read much in other Christian fiction genres, so I can’t verify that the move toward better stories and subtler themes is universal. I know that I can unreservedly recommend Kathryn Cushman’s books. And Meg Mosley’s first (I haven’t read the next). I mention this because you closed your comment with a general statement about Christian fiction.

And ironically, James Somers wrote his article in answer to this same criticism aimed at his books–what makes them Christian?

But regarding your challenge, sure. I have no problem reading books from the general market–I have read and do read them as often as possible (though generally not until they reach the library).

As to the things you believe we would disagree about–the “flawed application of theology”–I still don’t think we’re as far apart as you believe. But maybe I’m wrong.

Here’s where I think our ideas digress. In my article yesterday, I said, “Stories held to a rigid morality ought not be confused with ones held to a truthful theology.” I do think readers get bogged down with rigid morality, but I think some writers are not holding to truthful theology.

I’d like to see us separate the two and deal with the theology over the morality. I tend to think if we get the former right, the latter will take care of itself.

Becky

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Mir February 12, 2014 at 9:52 PM

I give other writers the liberty to be as constricted as they wish. I would like for them to give me as much liberty as I wish. :) To me, God is the weirdest thing there is, and the most mysterious, and the most terrifying, and the most wonderful. And if all Christians are still arguing about so many points of theology, the last thing I want is a Christian judging my writing on fine points of contentious doctrine. We’ve got enough schisms in the scholarly and doctrinal world. Maybe we should not bring that mess into the CSF world. Here, latitude must reign.

Each person’s conscience be the guide, but don’t put millstones about the necks of others. Inquisitions not needed. Discussions, fine. Stones, no.

“So to summarize, I DO NOT believe theology should limit our imagination. I believe theology should fire our imagination. I believe that Christians should be the most wildly imaginative, creative artists on the planet! The real question for the Christian fiction writer is simply, how much theology should we rightly impose upon our stories? ”

AMEN.

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Mike Duran February 13, 2014 at 7:22 AM

“I give other writers the liberty to be as constricted as they wish. I would like for them to give me as much liberty as I wish.”

Yes. Totally agree with this, Mir. Of course, the rebuttal would be, “You can practice all the liberty you want. Just don’t do it around here and don’t call it ‘Christian.’”

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Kat Heckenbach February 13, 2014 at 10:35 AM

That rebuttal is exactly my issue with the whole thing.

I will fight to the death for the rights of authors to write all the sanitized Christian fiction they want. They *obviously* have readers slobbering for more, so why would I not let them??? I also see *nothing* wrong with “preaching to the choir”–because, sometimes the choir wants to hear the sermon.

What I do NOT like is those same authors trying to tell me I’m not allowed to refer to my own work as Christian because it doesn’t follow their rules.

Oddly, I was totally on the side of “stealth” writing when I first started–in other words, keeping everything under the radar, not admitting openly that my stuff has Christian symbolism and such, and marketing mostly to secular readers, with the “but it’s free of cussing and sex” as my response to Christian readers. Well, those that are okay with magic in fiction.

But I’ve found myself much more comfortable at Christian writers groups, and I’ve managed to connect and click with so many spec-fic writers who identify themselves as Christian. And just by my involvement, regardless of what is actually in, or not in, my fiction, I’ve become known as a “Christian writer.” What that’s done is make me realize that when people look at my fiction they have certain expectations. I feel like my fiction will be defined by a definition I don’t agree with.

Does that make sense? I’ve got a cold this week and my brain is jelly, but lots of good discussions going on…so I apologize if I’m not being clear.

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Mir February 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM

The rebuttal is the kind of thing I mean by Inquisition. I’ve believed in God all my aware life. I’ve been saved since 1975. I’ve read and studied Scripture–even taken classes on theology at Bible college. I have a large library of commentaries, lexicons, Christian Living books. God and Jesus are on my mind from the second I’m awake to my last thought at night. Our decisions as a married couple always include what God wants/teaches, etc.

I’m quite happy to judge if my fiction or poetry is Christian or not. :) Of course, there are folks who think that if you don’t mention God it’s not Christian. If you have sex or swearing, it’s not Christian. And these are the same sorts of attitudes that chastised Christ for imbibing and hanging with hookers. I’m not fazed.

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R. L. Copple February 13, 2014 at 3:01 AM

Scaffolding is a good word. I look at it like this.

There are truths about God, then there are truths about the world God created.

Speculative fiction is saying, “I know God didn’t create a world like this, but what if He did? How might that reveal/support truths about God?

It is labeled fantasy, science fiction, or whatever fiction, to indicate this is a fictional world, a fictional story. The world herein depicted is not true to real life. That means it isn’t a lie, an attempt to deceive. It is not covertly labeled non-fiction. It is make believe. But the fact is, God could have created such a world if He wanted to.

There is nothing in the Bible prohibiting speculative stories with worlds containing ghosts, dragons, all sorts of mythical creatures, or god-fearing wizards (which is why there is one in my books).

A Christian speculative story should be true to who God is, but the whole point of it is speculation on what if God had created the world this way? So to pick apart the scaffolding isn’t dealing with what the story is claiming to be truth for us: God.

In effect, people tend to choke on a gnat while swallowing a camel. Just because the scaffolding is “true to God’s word” doesn’t mean the truths about God the story portrays are.

I would have one qualm with your list, Mike:

Does unpunished sin “muddle” or “bog” a Christian story down with “a lot of untruth”?

I think in that case, it could reflect on the nature of God in a negative manner. Not so much punishment, but consequences of sins. If we’re speculating about a world where sin has no consequences, that says something about God, who labels sin as sin because it is harmful to us.

I can grasp that such consequences might not be immediate (some people live a long time in sin before facing the music), so it is conceivable a story could not show the consequences of every sin committed in the book. But if a book leaves the impression that sin has no consequences with God, then a rewrite is in order.

The rest are just props in a story.

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Mir February 13, 2014 at 11:52 AM

“Speculative fiction is saying, “I know God didn’t create a world like this, but what if He did? How might that reveal/support truths about God?”

Whoops, THERE it is. :D

However, as I learned even in college among non-believers, there are actually living breathing humans who do not GET this. Do not get the “what if” of speculation. “But it’s not real. But it’s not true.” Well, what isn’t real can be very true. But the whole point is creating what is NOT to reflect on what IS.

And it may not even mention God, but as you say, the truth. It is true that it is better to be self-controlled, to be merciful, to be giving, to stand fast against temptations, to be faithful to one’s spouse, to not seek revenge for revenge’sake, to give one’s life for another. Biblically, these would hold up, and the totality comprise a “Christian” worldview, without even getting into a God or deities. The echo is there.

The ones whose brains cannot wrap around this–just let them read non-fiction. This genre is not for them.

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Linda February 14, 2014 at 12:16 AM

At the megachurch I attend, we use all kinds of creative arts, music and storytelling to share the Gospel, which results in occasional criticism. We maintain a philosophy: “The (Gospel) message is sacred, but the method is not.”

After reading Mike’s two-part blog post, I also read Becky’s entire original blog entry, with her readers’ comments. What I see are two intelligent, really dedicated authors who are sincere in their desire to honor God through their creative works. They have differences of opinion about methodology, but they both believe the message is sacred. It’s unfortunate that parts of this ongoing discussion have shifted from lively debate to “My opinion is the right one because I’m so wrapped up in God.” Or contempt– I’m having a hard time getting past the image of “slobbering” Christian readers.

It has also been said that the point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid. It would seem that by definition, solid Christian writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, speculative or not, would somehow encourage the reader to know or desire to know Christ and/or His kingdom better. Without some kind of Christ-message or symbol as the framework/scaffolding, what starts out as Christian instead becomes a morality tale. That can often be a great thing when writing for a general audience–for example, A Tale of Two Cities is a great morality tale. But non-believers will probably not get the Christ-connection–it’s just not their language.

Our imagination is a God-given gift. To me, the real fascination lies with how the release of the imagination becomes a tool to shape a book’s outcomes/conclusions. In regards to the speculative world, zombies, ghosts, witches, dragons etc are usually representations of evil unleashed by the imagination. They can serve a creative, useful function in differentiating good/evil themes. But what should be the author’s end purpose of indulging in vivid imaginings beyond the exercise of creativity? Perhaps speculative fiction authors could benefit by asking themselves, “What primary outcomes do I want readers to experience when they finish my book? Is it the mental stimulation from being captivated by my fantasy characters? Is it to share some aspect of Kingdom living, or is this more of a morality tale minus the Gospel?” There might not be anything inherently wrong with the latter. However, I believe writing that dares to label itself Christian fiction must produce a conclusion that is not so open-ended that all worldviews of the human condition are correct.

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Kat Heckenbach February 14, 2014 at 8:04 AM

I certainly did not mean anything contemptuous by using the word “slobbering.” As someone who is part of fandoms and looks forward to certain movies to come out, and who sees a new book by Favorite Author and can barely control my excitement–I can totally relate to the slobbering thing!

Fact is, I have on many occasions defended the readers of “Christian fiction” when other writers have bashed them for being low-brow and naive. I think of people I love, like sweet women in my writers groups and, well, my grandmother (when she was alive), who all prefer that kind of fiction–and good for them!

But also, what I was trying to convey, is that the Christian publishing world is providing something that is obviously *in demand*. They are producing this fiction and selling it to people who WANT it written such a way. And if there is demand, and it is something both sides–publisher and reader–feel is honoring God, then awesome.

I by no means meant contempt–I meant more like people who have found a favorite restaurant and are dying to go back and eat there again. Maybe I should have said “ravenous.”

My ONLY issue is that authors like me DO get treated with contempt by some of those authors/publishers/readers (and supporting “organizations”) who feel that me calling my work “Christian” is some sort of heresy, and who feel they have a right to control who gets to call their work “Christian”. THAT is the issue I have.

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Jessica E. Thomas February 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I just read an article where the guy said something like, “Stuff can’t be Christian. Only people can be Christian.” Very good point, I thought.

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