Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The bigger picture . . .

I hate to paraphrase the Bible, but I haven't been able to find a verse I came across a long time ago. I'm not sure of the exact wording but it makes a point that goes something like this:

"If our hope is in this world, we are the most miserable of all men."

I am saddened by how many Christians don't understand this. Defining our lives by so-called successes of this world is the biggest problem facing Christianity caused by Christians. This view leads many to prosperity preaching, the word of faith movement, give to get tithing, and wish-list prayer.

Our hope lies in the next world - Paradise restored. Throughout the ages, Great Christians have lived entire lives in poverty, sickness, and successive tragedies. They viewed this life for what it is: a momentary furlough from Paradise caused by the stain of sin. Their trials are not punishments from God for not being good enough or Christian enough.

I could go on and on but here's a couple of people who've said it better:

From Mercy Me's Bring the Rain,

Bring me joy, bring me peace. Bring the chance to be free. Bring me anything that brings You glory. And I know there'll be days, When this life brings me pain, But if that's what it takes to praise You -- Jesus, bring the rain

To see this personified, read this post by Author Mike Dellosso:

The Gift I Received

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In conclusion . . .

For me, the perfect example of Christian fiction is:

Stephen King's Pet Sematary.

It deals with death, resurrection, and the separation of the body/soul unit. And, it never gets too preachy. I'm sure King touches on these issues enough to spark that universal human turmoil which leads to a re-evaluation of one's place in the world and eventual decision to either accept the gift of salvation through Christ or . . . not.

Okay, I think I 've made my point.

My real answer is Demon - A Memoir by my friend, Tosca Lee. ( Btw, whether she likes it or not, I'm going to start calling her my friend since I'm mentioned in the acknowledgements of Havah. :) ) Besides being my all-time favorite novel, Demon embodies both definitions at once. For believers, it reaffirms our story while providing a deeper understanding and appreciation for God's grace. For non-believers, it forgoes the sales pitch and simply lays the truth bare for all to see and judge on their own accord.

Her newest novel, Havah, is a superb follow-up and another perfect example of Christian fiction.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Defining Christian Fiction Part Deau

If you haven't read the last post yet, go ahead. I'll wait. Hmmmhmmhmm.

Good you're back.

Before we get to the novels that fit my ideal definition, lets go one step further. (Or is it farther?) There are two types of Christian worldview novels:

The first is Christ identified worldview. These are novels about Christians, that mention the word Jesus, but don't necessarily provide Biblical exegesis. Christian readers identify with the characters and the situations sparking a connection--therefore a reaffirmation of one's faith. Donna Fleisher's novels are a wonderful example of this. These novels minister to the faithful, but don't often evangelize. Some seem not to regard ministering as important as evangelizing. Personally, I believe pastors are just as important as evangelists.

The second is a Christian philosophy worldview. These are novels penned by Christians who strive to keep their faith or at least, the word Jesus out of the story--narrated through the prism of overarching Christian tradition. These novels are hard to identify. Mainly because Christian philosophical worldview encompasses most of western civilization and a shared portion of Eastern religions. For me, the value of these types of novels is in providing a counter to the garbage pervasive in TV, books, and movies. A great example is one of my favorites: Ted Dekker's Thr3e. A great novel which explores a philosophical point, but does not point to Christ or even to Christianity for that matter.

Back to my main point. For ME, the perfect example of Christian fiction is . . .

To be continued . . .