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).

Monday, July 11, 2005

More on Crouch's Speech at CBA

Here's more information from J. Mark Bertrand's site on who Andy Crouch is and what he's done. I remember very well the Christianity Today article he wrote on what it was like to read all the Christy nominees when he was a judge. It was an eye-opener and convinced me to never write a novel about a small town.

Update: Also, check out the Faith in Fiction board, here. They are attempting to dissect Crouch's speech and everyone has an opinion.

Crouch said:
So I plead with you, as a reader, as a fellow follower of the Incarnate One, as someone who daily wonders how this gospel to which I am giving my life can possibly be true--I plead with you not to tell me stories which improve on the world. Instead, tell me stories about the world as it is, strange and real and full of grace
Personally, I think Andy Crouch was saying that "escapist" Christian fiction is fiction where everything ultimately works out. Characters in such fiction face problems, go through a dark time, and ultimately, thanks to the Lord, come out of the experience better people with a stronger faith in God. Which sounds good, at least on the surface. I think Crouch, though, believes a lot of such fiction is all surface, no depth, unrealistic in that crisis situations don't work according to a timetable, that they are often ugly, sloppy affairs, that people walk away from God never to return. It isn't nice and neat and tied up with a bow. It isn't a cure-all, nor Disneyland. It's life--a life where the grace of God is desperately needed.

Yet, just as some Christians hang out in church on Sundays and Wednesdays, shop in Christian bookstores, visit Christian friends, drink cofee in Christian coffee shops, and generally never dip their toe into secular water, so we perpetuate that Christian ghetto by reading escapist Christian literature. Some of us never dream that we might find profound insight into the mind of Christ by reading something different. As if God is limited somehow as to how He might minister to us.