Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Christian fiction

In "Why You Should Read Hannah Coulter" Russell Moore contrasts good "Christian" fiction with bad, and explains the benefits of the good:
.... Some time ago, I critiqued the genre of “Christian romance novels,” and came under a lot of criticism for it (mostly by Christian romance novelists). I was amazed that some of the criticisms attacked me for things that are actually the opposite of what I believe. Some assumed I was saying that fiction was wrong because it’s “not true.” Hardly! I read more fiction than I do non-fiction, if you exempt the Bible from consideration, and I consider it, most often, truer than anything in the world. Some also assumed that I thought one should only write about explicitly Christian themes, and that human love is not worthy of the Christian pen. God forbid.

I think fiction is good, necessary, and God-glorifying. I teach my theology students to read good fiction for the sake of their preaching, if for no other reason. Those without the imagination to read fiction usually lack the imagination to hear the rhythm and contours of Scripture, much less to peer into the mysteries of the human heart. I just think schlocky fiction does just the opposite of all of that. I also think human love is a more than worthy subject of writing, including Christian writing. I just think it should be done with authenticity and honesty, and should look at love, not the hormonal utopia our culture has taught us to long for. .... [more]
Moore to the Point – Why You Should Read Hannah Coulter