What Makes A Christian Novel - Christian?
My editor, Karen Ball, has a lively discussion going on at her blog about what makes a Christian novel "Christian." There are lots of great comments! I thought I would copy/paste mine here.
I agree with Crystal's comment on the movie Braveheart. When I think of Les Misérables and how the priest loves and forgives Jean Valjean, giving him a redemption chance of forgiveness, or the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo, when Edmond loses all hope in prison and the old man, Faria, painstakingly teaches him, encourages him, and finally gives his life helping him dig out, I think the Spirit of Christ - more than interwoven in the story - it becomes the backbone of the story.
Romans 8:9 (NIV) "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."
As a writer I must be directed by "the Spirit of Christ" to have any chance of portraying a story that is both real, relatable, righteous and redeeming. When my sin nature gets in the way (and it does! I thank God for my editor!!) I allow some of that junk (be it obvious like graphic sex or obsinities or subtle like flat characters, badly written "fake Christianease" dialog, etc.) to spill into the story. This requires my full surrender of "my story" to seek out and know "His story."
When John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother's womb as Mary neared with Jesus in her womb - wow - that is our reaction when we meet with the Spirit of Christ whether in a book, a film, a work of art, a play, another person, a sunset…anything that is filled with HIM. It's more than hope we gain, it's our eternal Groom, our Saving Grace. How lovely that God has imprinted His likeness in our spirit and that it craves Him and leaps for joy when we see a glimpse of Him in His creation.