The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Controversial Issues Should Christian Fiction Address?

Or should it address any? Maybe its sole purpose should be to provide wholesome entertainment for Christians?

I won't deny, there is a market for that. It may very well be the biggest market for Christian writers. But, is mere entertainment the best use of a writer's talent?

Hehe. My blog. Now I get to tell you what I think. And I can be as blunt and tackless as I want.


It boggles my mind how we, as Christians, can look at the example set before us by Jesus Christ himself, and yet lock oursleves in a little box where we get to paint the walls and ceiling shimmery blue, lay grassy green olefin carpet, stick plastic sunflowers in the ground and call that real.

I'm not saying that every Christian book must boldly go where no book has gone before. We need the light reads; the gentle encouragements from time to time. But to declare those books that do take on wordly issues as unChristian is contrary to Christ's very example.

Recently I was reading reviews of a book that tackled many horrid, painful subjects. The author used scripture and Biblical examples as guidance for her main character's thoughts and actions. Most reviewers appreciated her ministry, but I found a few--more than I expected--who declared the book to be dangerous, and unChristian.

Why? She brought up child molestation and rape. How dare anyone acknowledge such a thing. Next was prostitution. Christ never knew anyone like that. Adultry! Cover your eyes. And worst of all, she wrote about sex between a husband and a wife. She even described it in poetic terms, making it seem. . . enjoyable. How unChristian!

Sadly, what every one of these reviewers missed was the beautiful tale of forgiveness. Isn't that why Christ died?

We live in a world full of hurt. In my own family we've dealt with divorce, adultry, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, rape, homosexuality, eating disorders and mental illness. In my close circle of friends that list of 'unmentionables' expands to include drug addiction, alchoholism, victims of molestation, abortion, and probably a few things I don't know about. You want to know what all of these people have in common? Christ. Everyone that has crossed my mind as I have written this list is a Christian; with the acception of one, and we're working on her. But could any of these people have been ministered to if those that brought them to Christ had not addressed their pain? Sin is pain.

I don't think I would be a Christian today if that were the case.


  1. Hooray! You are right on the money, Shawna! When Christ came, he didn't hang out with the Pharisees, did he? No, he hung out with the sinners. Oh, guess what--that's everybody. We ALL sin, and that means that the guy who gets mad and yells in traffic is right there with the junkie in the alley that has tracks running up both arms.

    None of our lives is sunshine and roses. We all have problems. There is one solution. But even Christ doesn't come along and wave a magic wand and "fix" it all for us. We still have to deal with all the (stuff) live doles out. And in the process, we're going to mess up. A lot.

    I think gobs of people out there could easily list all the same issues you did in their own families/friends. I certainly know I can.

    You know, you've inspired me. I had written a story that I was worried about trying to sell in the CBA because I talked about some of those very things and how Christ helped dig me out of them--very, very slowly. Now I feel like I need to rewrite it BIGGER and send it off everywhere!

  2. Christian fiction is a form of escapism. I'm not necessarily saying that is a bad thing. People don't want to be reminded of the bad in the world. When we read the Bible, those unseemly topics are not glossed over. I think that God doesn't want us to dwell on evil but he sure wants us to be aware that it exists. The reason Jesus came and died for us is that evil and sin do exist.

    An Arkies Musings

  3. You're right, escapism isn't a bad thing.

    Everyone has a right to their preferrence as to what they read. So, my complaint isn't that there is something wrong with people who don't want to read stories that take on difficult issues.I don't believe that all. However, I do think that labeling these books as unChristian, as some did in their reviews of the book in mind, is misguided.

    I'm especially passionate about this after having witnessed how this story affected a friend who had beed molested as a child, and lived a whole other life before coming to Christ. In many ways this was her story. She cried out in praise. She was also the person who pointed me toward this book.

    It's Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers if you're curious. It's actually been around for a long time. I'm just slow.

  4. Hey richies, you're in Mena. You want a puppy? We've got eight to find homes for in about six weeks. They're real cute.

  5. I agree, agree, agree with all you wrote re writing about the messy and nasty and ugly aspects of life.

    We need a new place, between CBA and ABA. Both of those are just fine and I have no problem with what they do.

    Left out are more stories about those of us "in the world, not of the world" as we try to deal with that anomaly.

    ABA books talk of coping with the world, but do their best to leave the Christian foundations of Western civilization out, at least in direct reference.

    CBA seems to lean the other way, decrying the sinfulness of falling prey to worldly ills. The theme seems to be that if the people were better believers, it wouldn't have happened to them.

    Funny, but if you read the Book of Job, it seems to me well centered between CBA and ABA themes.

    Great blog. Don't let it distract you from your wonderful fiction writing, do use it to blow away writer's block and doubt and get you back to writing more stories.

  6. Shawna, I love the blog! And I totally agree with this. I really feel like (I know you've hear me say it) they are life, right! And I feel like they show that Christians don't have
    easier outward circumstances, but a inside "peace that passes understanding" -- I mean, He doesn't take away all
    our troubles, but His blood takes away all our sin! That is the abundant life!

    I gave you an award! The Honest Scrap! Have you seen the mess over at my blog? Your name is there!

  7. Thanks Shawna. It encourages me to know there are Christians out there who think like I do. My first novel tells the story of a young woman who escapes sex tourism industry, among other things. Forgiveness and freedom are tough mountains for her to climb, yet it's her reality--and someone(the church?) has to be equipped and willing to adopt and care for someone as hardcore as she is. Though my review readers love it, I have the feeling publishers will shy away. Is there hope for me, and anyone else in that middle-of-the-road sect? If so, let me know.

  8. Good for you Julie. On my writer's link there is a site called Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers. If you're not already a part of that network I suggest you check it out. Many of the authors on that site have written edgy books, AND have seen them published. It's wonderfully encouraging.


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If you're curious about the story behind the name of my blog, click on the car. :)