Deep POV: Confessions of a Christian Writer

The ramblings of an emergent-realistic-edgy-working-for-God-and-the-pay-isn’t-that-great-sometimes-confused-christian-fiction writer (uh, that would be me).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Church of the Masses - Two Stories About Not Getting It

I thought these two examples of Christian hubris illustrated not only Barbara Nicolosi's attitude about the right and the wrong way to bring Christianity into Hollywood, but how people get it wrong in Christian novels as well. People hate to be preached to, don't they? No matter what your beliefs might be, shoving yourself in someone's face, whether it's in person or through the pages of a book, just doesn't work.

In his blog, Faith in Fiction, Dave Long talks about just that: how to integrate faith into a fictional work. In a November, 2003 post, he says this:

"The problem general market readers have with religious fiction isn’t that it’s about religion. They (most, at least) aren’t biased against Christianity. What grates on them is the notion that the book they are reading is a specific piece of propaganda whose sole function is to convert them. Whether or not this is the case in the author’s writing, a book whose core plot is a conversion story is far more likely to be seen as an evangelical tool than a book that offers a glimpse into the heart of someone who already is a Christian."

Whether it's in Hollywood or within the pages of a novel, I think we need to realize that blatant evangelism is a turn off in a fictional work. We cannot--as the folks in Barbara's example did--charge into the foray, believing we should, with swords drawn, hack our way through until people understand what we're saying.

I'm thinkin' that won't work.

Church of the Masses