At intervals throughout your journey, you’ve probably wondered whether you’re a good writer. Unfortunately, I can’t sympathize because that thought hasn’t occasionally crossed my mind.
In a world where the gods of sexual pleasure pose strong opposition to Christianity, we need Christian storytellers who are ready to write about sexuality appropriately and biblically. In this article, I outline seven principles to consider when incorporating sex into our stories.
Swearing, like most subjects in the Christian community, has created its share of controversy. Are English words, which are nothing more than subjective pairings of vowels and consonants, offensive to the Almighty, or only when combined with His name? Should we avoid saying certain words around children? What about typing them out?
Should you write a scene of human sacrifice where the priest cuts out the victim’s [bleep] with a stone knife, the body [bleep], and the blood [bleepity bleep bleep]? (I’m trying to be sensitive here.) These kinds of questions plague Christian writers—especially beginners and those who have been raised without exposure to brutality.
Light is a paradox. Without darkness, the light’s ability to reveal hidden wonders and dangers would be lessened. Without the night to conceal, gloom can’t be driven away by dawn. Without shadows for contrast, even the brightest light cannot manifest its full strength. This is true of the gospel as well as writing.
Many Christian storytellers desire to set themselves apart from the secular world by writing clean stories. Clean fiction can have a purpose, especially if the target audience expects it. But if all Christian fiction is clean, I’d contend that we’ve lost something. Here’s why.
It is a generally acknowledged fact that writing takes forever. We wish we could skip the blood, sweat, and ink part of the process to get to the shiny published product. Publication becomes a higher priority as we grow older and college, job, and life choices loom before us.
I used to believe that a writer’s mission was to tell the world important truths through stories. Talk about pressure. If you’re like me, you don’t handle pressure well. I’m generally laidback, but when I start worrying that I’m not as intentional, skilled, or efficient as I should be, my life can get wild in a hurry.
Christian artistry doesn’t compare to the real stuff. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Over and over and over. You’ve probably even thought it. Why? Because, for the most part, it’s sad but true. Christian films can’t stand up next to MARVEL, Christian music is often shallow, and Christian fiction is more suited to the pulpit than the pages between a front and back cover.
Storytelling is hard. Being a Christian storyteller can seem even harder. If we’re striving to live for God’s glory, that needs to include our storytelling. But how explicitly Christian must our writing be to honor God? In this inaugural article, Josiah evaluates the strengths of two approaches to Christian fiction.