Christian Fiction vs. Mainstream: The Why Of It

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Many Christians enjoy Christian fiction, praising it for its cleanness, quality and the challenging questions raised by plot and character. I've heard people express what a relief it is to read a book that doesn't ooze graphic sexual content or pop a curse word every sentence. Yet there are those who think Christian fiction is too light-weight in subject matter, too unrealistic. This puzzles me, for don't we read to escape the realities of a dull economy, high unemployment and constant headlines sensationalizing Hollywood drama stars whose antics prove they have about as much integrity as a Dorito? Isn't a book a way to leave the worries of life behind? And wouldn't it be natural for a Christian to choose books that showcase the religion and values they embrace?


There are some mainstream authors whose works are relatively clean. Are those the authors a Christian fiction lover gravitates to on the mainstream side?


What lures you to choose Christian fiction over mainstream? Do you agree that Christian fiction does not deal with themes that are current or relevant?

5 comments:

Lotti said...

What lures me to Christian fiction is just that the lack of sexual overtones and often bad language. To my way of thinking some non-Christian fiction is very unrealistic and over the top and I find that much of the Christian fiction is quite down to earth and believable. It's so nice to read refreshing fiction that doesn't leave you feeling awful when you read it, or makes you put the book down half-way through.

S. Dionne Moore said...

Good point, Lotti. If Christian fiction has unrealistic themes,it follows that ABA would as well. I think non-Christians struggle with the God-as-solution scenario.

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

I love that you said, "don't we read to escape the realities of a dull economy, high unemployment and constant headlines..."

This is so true, Sandra!! I very rarely watch intense, leave-you-in-the-dumps type stuff, cuz I don't WANT to be depressed afterward. I want something that is going to uplift, encourage, or otherwise edify my spirit.

Wait...haven't I read that somewhere...

Christina B said...

I think the perfect blend of both worlds for me, is the edgier Christian fiction that's becoming more and more popular. I like that it deals with the realer issues we all face, while putting a positive spin on how to ultimately handle those issues.

And since there's still the fluffier feel-good inspy reads for those who enjoy less realism in their stories, adding edgy Christian fiction to the mix just includes more options for a wider range of people. Surprisingly, a lot of non-Christians seem to prefer less gratuity than we'd think in books, but are hesitant to give the inspirational market a chance for fear that they'll be too "preachy" or not broach heavier topics honestly.

At the end of the day, I think if a book is relate able, well written, superbly crafted, and has good word of mouth, it can have crossover appeal to either the secular OR Christian community. :)

Diana Dart said...

I'm drawn to Christian fiction that challenges me, makes me think or inspires me to stretch beyond my world. Heroic stories, epics, sweeping historical dramas. Ya huh, that's my thing.

I'm also drawn to secular Christian books that have a similar effect on my brain, heart, etc. It's a major downer when a well written, action-packed secular novel falls flat in the resolution stage, all because the author leaves God out. Talk about omitting the biggest hero there ever will be!!

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