Saturday, May 2, 2009

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday: What's Your Line?

Faith 'n Fiction Saturdays is a weekly meme hosted by My Friend Amy. If you're interested in participating, click here.

Here's today's question:

Christian fiction is generally known for being clean and non-offensive, but lately there's been a lot of chatter about edgy Christian fiction and the need for Christian fiction to be more realistic. Christian fiction has certainly changed and contains a lot more edge than it used to. This makes some readers uncomfortable and I was wondering what you line is? What would push the envelope too far for a Christian fiction novel for you? Language? Sex? Violence? Main characters who never believe in Jesus? If you came across something that offended you in a Christian fiction book, how would you handle it?

My answer:

I have definitely noticed an edgier trend in Christian fiction within the last year or so. I remember reading all of Deeanne Gist's books last summer, and thinking, "Wow, she is really pushing some boundaries here!" But at the same time, I have loved each and every one of her books. With that said, I'll post a little something about each subject that was brought up....

Language: I don't want to read a single curse word in any Christian fiction book. If I did, I would switch over to a secular book. I remember reading "The Shack" a few months ago, and the language in it did not sit well with me at all.

Sex: I think it's pretty obvious that most people would be uncomfortable reading a sex scene in a CF book. Personally, it doesn't bother me to read about hot and steamy kissing, but that's about as far as I want to go. Most of the time, things can be left to a reader's imagination. So if I see something like.....hubby and wife went upstairs to enjoy a night in each other's arms.....well, I know what's happening! With that said, very soon I'll start on the Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessman (which I've heard so much about), and I'm curious to know how edgy it will be in comparison to Deeanne Gist's books.

Violence: Because I don't read suspense/thrillers very often, I don't have a strong opinion on this one. I don't mind reading that someone was shot, but don't give me gore.

Main characters who don't believe in Jesus: There's only been one book that I've come across that never had a conversion resolution. By the end of that particular book, the main character seemed to have the most flimsy relationship (if it could even be called that) with God, and it sort of ruined the book for me. I don't need to have a conversion in every CF book that I read, but by the end of that book or series of books, it ought to be pretty clear where their faith lies.


  1. Enjoyed your answer and your honest opinions. :) Mine are up at Free Spirit-

  2. Great thoughts! I don't want flimsy conversion scenes either!

  3. I pretty much agree with you on every point except it wouldn't bother me to read that any character refused Christ. I'd feel sad for them, but it'd be realistic, and the gospel could have been presented.

    Here's mine:

  4. For me, Julie isn't anywhere close to crossing the line that Deeanne Gist did. I really have enjoyed Julie's books so much.

    I'm not into thrillers either. I really like James Scott Bell though.

    Not a fan of swearing and can't even think of a Christian Fiction book that has it.

    Thanks for sharing!


  5. I agree with you, though I must admit that I probably have a higher tolerance of violence - and I don't necessarily think that's a good thing. It really depends on the story. But there are ways of writing that gets the message across without evoking imaginations and feelings the reader shouldn't have. The Bible does it, and its purpose is direct.

    I want to be so careful about what I write and rely heavily on my critique group members to help keep me from crossing the line. Yes, I want to get the message across, to reach the heart of the reader. No, I do not want the reader to stray in her thoughts or feelings from what the ultimate purpose of the story.


I love your comments!! They make me happier than cold sweet tea on a hot summer day! :o)