Awhile back, author Madisyn Carlin and I were tossing around blog article ideas, and a few questions came up: Does it matter what we read for fun? If it’s our free time, our recreation, is it okay to indulge in whatever the wind blows our way? Does fiction even play a role in our lives? Here’s what Madisyn, from the popular blog Madi’s Musings, has to say about the topic:
WHY WE NEED CHRISTIAN FICTION
On any given day, you can watch the news, read your church’s prayer chain, or just walk the main street of your town, and you will be bombarded with darkness, depression, and fear. People are suffering, families are hurting, and the future is unknown.
Living can be downright scary at times.
Which is why we need Christian fiction.
Just as Christians are to be the light in this dark world, so does real Christian fiction provide an alternative to secular literature. To be clear, by “Christian fiction”, I’m not speaking of the “Christian” books with profanity, lust, “steam, sizzle, or spice”, or bedroom scenes.
It is easy to feel down when we consider the state of the world, and it is easier to allow those thoughts to sink their hooks into our minds and influence our perspectives and the joy we are to have in Christ no matter the circumstances. While the Bible is the ultimate Book to read, Christian fiction can play a role in helping us refocus our minds and hearts on Christ.
We need Christian fiction because it:
Imparts hope. Christian fiction often portrays characters experiencing difficult circumstances—the loss of a loved one, being persecuted for their faith, or facing some other calamity we experience in real life. Through reading how these characters endure and rely on God, the reader is reminded that, no matter what happens, God is in control.
Helps Us Focus on whatever is true… And the rest of Philippians 4:8: “[…]whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”. As Christians, we are to, “set our minds on things that are above” (Colossians 3:2). Christian fiction espouses and represents Biblical values, like God-honoring relationships, respecting parental authority, handling real-life antagonists, and navigating challenges with Biblical methods.
Builds community. Even though the characters and their situations are fictional, the authors who wrote them are not. Fellow readers who enjoy these stories are not. Connecting with these authors and fellow readers helps us realize we are not along in these trying times, and that we are not the only ones desperately trying to shine our light in the darkness.
Provides an alternative. Christian fiction has often been derogatively called “preachy”, which is a lie pushed by Satan and a post unto itself. What is not acknowledged by those who wrongfully throw that term around is that Christian fiction provides a hope-filled, heartfelt, Christ-centered literary alternative to the anti-Christian, anti-Biblical books the secular world tries shoving in our face.
Is a good way to teach lessons. When young children are fed a diet of Christian books, they often learn lessons through the misadventures faced by the fictional young protagonists. Often, children’s Christian fiction is written around a lesson, which the reader learns along with the main character. This helps instill a reinforced knowledge of why lying and stealing are wrong, and why we should honor our parents, among other values.
To reiterate, we need Christian fiction because it imparts hope, helps us focus on Biblical morals, builds community while providing a faith-based literary alternative, and is a good way to teach our children Biblical lessons.
The written word can either destroy or minister. Make sure you are selecting the type that encourages you to focus on Christ.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this important topic, Madi! I love that you quoted Philippians 4:8 🙂
Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.
Want to connect? https://linktr.ee/madisyncarlin
Readers, which of Madi’s books have you read? I gleaned much from Iron and Shattered Reflections, and I look forward to reading more of her novels. Post your positive comments below!
P.S. Last week Madisyn interviewed me on her blog. Find it here 🙂
4 thoughts on “Why We Need Christian Fiction – Guest Post by Madisyn Carlin”
Thank you so much for featuring the post!
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I’m happy to! Thanks for writing it!
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Shattered Revelation was absolutely amazing!!! Great post, Madi. I agree whole heartedly!
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