By Barbara Sutton Brink
When I first started reading Christian fiction, back in the dark ages before Al Gore invented the Internet, there wasn’t much to pick from. The romance novels were all the same. A poor Christian girl trying to make it in a cold, hard world, until the rich, but worldly young man falls madly in love with her, comes to faith in Christ, and takes her away to a life of comfort and leisure. Oh yeah – and they live happily ever after.
Of course, we know that never really happens. In real life things don’t go so smoothly. There isn’t always a happy ending, and people don’t come to Christ simply because we love them, and we want them to.
The majority of Christian fiction today is vastly different from that scenario. Authors write with a reality that often comes from experience, either personal or vicarious. They put their protagonist into situations where they have to deal with temptation, the death of a loved one, a cheating spouse, or broken promises, and along the way teach us about faith, repentance, and redemption.
The written word, whether fiction or non-fiction, has the ability to make us yearn for something other than what we have, or be someone other than who we are. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if we’re yearning for stronger faith, a closer walk with God, and to be a man or woman that glorifies Christ through our life. Much of Christian fiction today highlights these issues, and deals realistically with the winding path that Christians oftentimes travel in their growing relationship with God. A good Christian novel doesn’t shy away from the reality of a sinful world. After all, it’s where we live.
Everyone has a favorite genre and sometimes we get stuck in a rut, tending to read ten books by the same author because they’re familiar and we know just what to expect. Not that that’s a bad thing, but stretching our minds and reading something we wouldn’t normally choose is often educational as well as a pleasant surprise. Christian fiction has come a long way in the last ten years or so, giving us many more choices than before. From the perennial favorite, end-times series’, to romantic suspense or thrillers, Christian writers have finally begun to keep up with the ever-expanding market for variety in literature.
Just because Christian fiction is considered to be entertainment doesn’t mean it isn’t meaningful or used by God. I’ve heard people state, with their noses in the air, “I only read non-fiction,” as though mere stories were a waste of their time. But even Christ used stories to communicate truth. Written between the lines of humor, heartache, or new love can be a tremendous message of God’s goodness and mercy.
And for those of us who truly need a vacation about this time of year, a good book can give us a glimpse of a locale we’ve always wished to visit, but can’t afford the airfare.
I just happen to have a good book on sale for the month of April!
SPLIT SENSE (ebook only $2.99!)
A company’s dark secret…
Barbara Ellen Brink
My author page / blog: http://barbaraellenbrink.com/
My Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEllenBrink