Writers Who Are Christian or Christian Writers? by Parker J. Cole

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This year marks the second year anniversary of my show Write Stuff which airs Tuesdays at 7 pm Eastern time. I have been privileged to interview authors from around the world of different Christian faith walks, life experiences, and genres. To say “It’s been rewarding” is not adequate enough to express how I feel. During this time, I have come across several discussions about Christians who write – are they Christian writers or writers who are Christian? The question is nuanced in such a way that it seems to suggest you have to choose one or the other. In these discussions, some writers are adamant they are Christian writers; however, what does that mean? Others proclaim they are writers who are Christian. Is there a difference or is it simple word play?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to be honest. So I’ll attempt to quantify this and then leave the answer up to the author.

In my opinion:

Generally speaking, a Christian writer is an author whose works are foundationally Christian. Their works are geared toward a Christian audience with familiar messages and content a Christian reader should grasp. (I say should because sadly in the West, biblical illiteracy is at an all-time high) Due to the diversity of Christian readers, these books range from mainstream to edgy but the characteristics shared are: the salvation message, a conversion of some sort, Christ-centeredness (overt or subtle), and faith is interwoven throughout the story. A Christian writer seeks to have books that point to the gospel in some way.

Once again, generally speaking, a writer who is Christian may have books that do not necessarily fall under the umbrella of Christian. They may choose to write mainstream or ‘clean’ books. These books may not mention anything about Christianity at all or may have some elements of the faith. They may even be secular. To muddy up the waters further, they do not “write” for the Christian audience but they pen what they choose based on what they want create.

And yet, we still have a problem: I can easily switch those differences and still be correct. After all, some Christian writers DO NOT write for the Christian audience and some writers who are Christian write for the Christian audience! How do we nail it down?

We don’t.

Our backgrounds, lifestyles, denominational teachings, worship styles, and other secondary minutiae all affect how we write. And it goes without saying that we would never change the nature of God, His power and omnipotence, the work of Christ, Biblical teachings on salvation issues or anything like that. Those are non-negotiable and immovable.

At the end of the day, no matter what we call ourselves, Christians are accountable to the Lord for their work. Whether it’s writing, singing, playing an instrument, mission work, pastoring, and thousands of other things we do, we will all have to give a reckoning of ‘why’ we did such-and-such to the Lord. His opinion is the only one that matters. His stamp of approval is more desired than man’s accolades.

To conclude, I‘ll say this. I thank God for the gift of writing. I thank Him for the opportunity to interview and showcase authors because they love the Lord no matter how they define themselves. You can always catch my shows at my show blog: http://thewritestuffradio.wordpress.com. Go through the archives and see what we’ve been talking about with Christians who write.

As a final thought, I’ll leave you with this. Colossians 3:17, “ And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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