Friday, January 28, 2011

Faith and Fiction Saturday: The State of Christian Fiction

Welcome to Faith and Fiction Saturday, a weekly discussion of the intersection of faith and fiction. I invite you to write a post on your blog about the topic or participate in comments. Check the schedule for future topics to be read in advance!

About a week ago, I started a discussion on Christian fiction and the people who read it or would like to read it. Read post one and post two. Also check out the transcript for the first #CFChat on Twitter. The next chat is this Monday at 1 PM PST/10 AM EST.

The responses have been great so far and really given me a lot of food for thought. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's take on this issue and possible solutions and ways to move forward.

Hannah of Word Lily suggested a discussion about the definition of Christian fiction. I think this is a very fair point to bring up. How do you define Christian fiction? For purposes of this discussion, I've been defining it as books published specifically for the Christian market that are fiction.

Another point that's been brought up is that there are more than two camps. I do agree with this. It's very hard to ever categorize readers because each person is very unique and has a set of values that is uniquely their own, and things they prefer in fiction that is all their own. But I do think it's worth repeating that we're talking about readers who want to read faith driven fiction. The "two camps" are really just a way for us to understand generalized preferences and values. We certainly don't want a war!

Sherry from Semicolon Blog brought up in the #CFChat that she doesn't want racier fiction or Christian fiction, she wants good truthier fiction. I want to point out that I don't really want RACY fiction, I just don't want life to be sanitized so I don't recognize it. I agree about wanting good fiction, but again this is a discussion about faith driven fiction. I do like this statement very much, though.

While I enjoy camp one books at times, I think what I really long for are excellent, well written, compelling stories that resemble life, that ask hard questions, and that don't necessarily try to answer them. I'm not as concerned about receiving answers or "right message" as I am being allowed to explore those ideas for myself through fiction. Yet I long for these stories to include faith--in the lives of the characters or as a rational idea at the very least. Does this make any sense? I hope I have communicated well.

What kind of books do you long to read?

Again: Please join us at 1 PM EST/10 AM PST for the second round of #CFChat where we'll tackle gender and Christian fiction.


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