Saturday, February 07, 2009
Faith 'n Fiction Saturday
My Friend Amy, who brought us Book Blogger Appreciation Week has a new carnival in the works, the Faith 'n Fiction Saturday.
Each week she will post a blogging prompt, which participating bloggers will answer on their own blogs. Then they head back to the original post and sign Mister Linky! This way we can all come to know each other more closely.
Today's Discussion: I was reading over at Novel Journey the other day (a great blog, by the way!) and this post caught my eye and just really really grabbed at the heart of what I think is the conflict around "preachy" Christian fiction. So I'm going to take this quote from the quote in the post, and ask you to share your thoughts about this topic.
"Too many Christians think we are supposed to use the arts to give people the answers. We’re not. We’re supposed to use the arts to lead them into a question."
What do you think? Do you think Christian fiction should provide answers or lead us to questions?
I love books that raise questions. I love to think. I love brain teasers. I love using my mind. So when I read a book, while sometimes I need an escape to let my brain relax, I prefer something that makes me go "hmmm, wow that is insightful. I need to ponder on that." What I really enjoy is a book that pushes my faith and makes me want to answer "Why exactly do I believe what I believe?" I don't want to be a person that just is a Christian because I have to be because it's expected, or b/c my family is and I don't want to be a lukewarm Christian. I want my faith to be real and meaningful. I don't want to take it for granted.
Some Christian fiction books that have raised questions for me are: A Pagan's Nightmare by Ray Blackston (legalism), The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck (divorce and marriage), The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough by Neta Jackson (racism), and Embrace Me by Lisa Samson (what is normal?)
I'm not saying that these books and questions make me question my own faith to the point where I begin to doubt it. But I think that they do make me think long and hard about why I have my faith. And therefore, it pushes me to want to strengthen it even more.
We as Christians do NOT have all the answers. If we say we do, then we are lying. We don't know everything. I mean, when I get to heaven, I have a billion questions I'm going to ask God (they range from the serious - Why do kids get cancer? to the trivial - Why did you invent mosquitoes?).
A non Christian who reads a Christian fiction book that makes them ask questions about themselves and what they believe in, will want to find the answers. Their curiosity will have been whetted and they will want to go and search and find out what the meaning is. When you have to work to do something, it becomes more meaningful and has a bigger significance.