Warning: Christian

I’m a member of several online writers’ groups, and recently, one of them posed the question, “should Christian books carry a warning label?” To be honest, I cannot for the life of me remember which group or really any of the particulars. I mostly scanned from the sidelines.

The trigger incident involved an author getting a nasty review because he failed to clearly identify his fiction novel as “Christian,” even though three of the tags applied to the novel contained the word “Christian” (I’ll save a rant on the -ehem- silliness of readers for later). The author countered by creating a tongue-in-cheek warning to all that his book might contain material known to incite riots in avowed atheists or something to that nature. Good on him.

The thread bounced around a bit, with some authors being pro-warning and some pro-”undercover Christianity” – as in avoiding any and all trigger words that might cause a Christ-hater to “go off” and stop reading, thus getting some Christianity into the reader by accident, as it were.

Wow. I sound a bit harsh there, don’t I? Guess I have some issues of my own.

I faced this question for the first time when a person I later learned to be an atheist asked me what “Christian fiction” was. He caught me off guard, but I answered, and, I think pretty well for me, a book that expresses a Christian worldview.

I’ll warn you upfront. I’m a Christian. It doesn’t matter what genre I choose to write. My writings will stem from a Christian worldview. Do I mind? No. Will you mind? Maybe. Is that my problem? Absolutely not.

Jesus Himself said the world would hate Him and most people will reject Him. Why should I gritch and moan because they reject me because of Him? I’d rather proclaim Him before men and be cursed by them than be denied by Him before God.

I do have to point out the irony of an atheist complaining about Christian fantasy, though. Isn’t that where all Christian writing should be? In the same genre with false, mythological beings like Ra and Gaia and Zeus? I would think atheists would be thrilled to have Christians writing fantasy. We’re doing half their work for them.

I guess there’s no pleasing some people.

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Categories: Faith Stuff | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Warning: Christian

  1. If all people naturally and unavoidably write from their own worldviews, then an atheist novelist would be writing from his secular humanist worldview just as much. If Christians should clearly identify or “warn” about their worldview in the books they write, then atheists should do the same. But I don’t think anyone should be required to apologize for his or her worldview at all, even though some people may be offended (and we know that people will be offended by Christian themes).

    I think it would be equally wrong for a Christian to have to put a “warning label” on his or her novel as it would be for the atheist to have to do so. And as a reader, I think it’s ridiculous to only expect to read stories that confirm your own worldview. I don’t demand that the novels I read never contradict my Christian faith.

  2. HAH! Perfect rebuttal. I’m so going to use that if I ever have an atheist tell me Christians shouldn’t write fantasy. “Well, you think Christianity is a myth, so according to your own definition, *all* Christian fiction is fantasy.” Love it. Thanks, Robynn! :)

  3. P.A.Baines

    The problem is that some people are so anti-Christian that any mention of God or Jesus in a positive light sends them straight into salivating 1-star-review-mode, which makes it impossible to trust anything they say about the book.

    It is actually quite entertaining to read the reviews of books that are not obviously Christian from the cover and title, but which contain “Christian content”. They usually have at least one 1-star review from someone who is angry at the “deception”. More often than not these books were downloaded for free, which makes their anger even more risible.

    A perfect example is “The Book of Eli” which upset a lot of people merely because Eli’s book was the Bible. If it had been any other religious book, those same people would have been raving about what a brilliant film it was.

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