Thursday, November 19, 2009


No, really, please! Stop. the. presses.

One of my great Tyrannosaurus Rex bones to pick with Christian Fiction is that they COPY everything that the world produces instead of setting out to create something truly unique, original, creative, well-written, well-thought-out, etc., etc..

It's like Christian fiction writers are sitting around a campfire somewhere until suddenly someone shouts out, "Hark! I hear a fad!"

Most of the time it's just as glaringly obvious as popular advertisements and logos are:

Because I like Jesus like I like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. And then some. Yummy!


I see these shirts and I know people argue that they are an effective form of reaching the lost. I'm not going to totally oppose such an argument, but I still have this nagging refrain bellowing in the background of my head: "What you save them with is what you save them to!"

Anyway, I'm sore when I crack open a book and find poorly written dribble that just wants to present a clean and Christian alternative to the harlequin romance novels. I rather dislike romantic fiction because it is almost never real, but it does sway the reader's emotions. (I have some authoresses that I despise more than others. Some I have found are quite tolerable because they write complex stories and refrain from writing multiple series, may Heaven bless them.)

But if this doesn't beat all.............

Now you can read your CLEAN vampire novel! Woo hoo!

From Publisher's Weekly off of Amazon, I give you only the first sentence which blows my brain from the get-go:

"The expansion of the Christian horror genre . . ."

Because when I think of Christianity, I am automatically drawn to horror genres to begin with? Because when I think of Christianity I think of how much I want to immerse myself and engage with spiritual warfare? For fun?

But wait! Let's go on with the review:

" . . . inevitable will be comparisons to reigning vamp-lit queen Stephenie Meyer, starting with the book's cover."

Yes, and rightly so. I can't even look at the cover and not wonder where the author wanted to go with her story. Stephanie Meyer should be sincerely flattered. She obviously hit the jackpot.

Next let's write a new series - You and I! "Chronicles of the Planet of Arnia." It has a pleasant ring to it! Or even "The Gingham Potato Pie Peeling Club" (which will leave out that reference to the homosexual relationship and the foul word or two). Next thing you know, Veggie Tales vegetables are going to be sprouting fangs. (Although I do give Veggie Tales a nod at creativity. They intentionally create puns and pick on trends in a humorous way. They aren't trying to be serious.) "Henry Porter and the Full-Blood Prince of God." What? You don't like it? It's clean, innocent fun, don'tcha think?! You can hand it over to your children without having to worry about what they are reading. You'll know it's biblically based! Aren't you EXCITED!? ("Anne of the Green Gardens" in which Anne professes her undying Christian faith! This will save you a debate over whether or not L.M. Montgomery was really a Christian and therefore worth reading. "Gone With the Sin" which is rather self-explanatory. "Little Santictified Women." "Sarah, Plain but Strong in Faith." "Jeeves and the Holy Spirit." We can make 'um as blatant as you want 'um!)

But, as usual, Tim Challies beats me to the punch. Click here to read his version of The Ultimate Christian Novel (which involves vampires, the anti-Christ and the Amish!).

I do not think that every great story has already been written. I think there is still room on bookshelves and in libraries for creative, well-told stories. I do not believe that the gift of story-telling has died. On the contrary, I do not think it is being exercised. This is why I get extremely excited when I come across books like The Silent Gift and The Mysterious Benedict Society. In these books we get to enjoy the art of story-telling. It is new! It is fresh! It is different, creative and blessedly unique. It draws you in and engages you and is timeless in its ability to connect with the audience of both today and tomorrow. Long after Arm & Hammer goes out of business and long after text messaging is a thing of the past. Good story telling lasts beyond the moment. And I do believe we should be seeking out the best, to read, to contemplate, to think on. Now, the question is whether or not we will take the time to sort out the good from the bad and give honor to Whom honor is due.


Stephanie Kay said...

Carrie, I laughed out loud until I had tears!!! It really helped to read it out loud to put the proper sarcastic inflection in.

1. Now I'm craving Reeses!!
2. Can I be on your writing team for "Chronicles of the Planet of Arnia?"
3. Tim Challies post? H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S.

CallMeIshmael said...

Go, girl! Preach it, preach it!!! :D

Carrie said...

Stephanie's Mommy Brain - I KNOW we are kindred spirits. ;D

Anonymous said...

"What you save them with is what you save them to!" Love it! So true! Great post...there's a reason that I so rarely read Christian fiction.

Elisabeth said...

Bravo, Carrie. Just. Bravo.

Janice Phillips said...

This kind of crap (let's call a spade a spade here!) makes me want to swear...which probably completely defeats the purpose of pointing us to Christ. AARRGGH! :-p Just keepin' it real!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...


Sky said...

YES! Exactly!
But I think you should know that I am currently working on a book titled; Winnie-the-Pious in which our favorite bear teaches a more Biblically minded honey munching and Pooh-Sticks is a parable about fishers of men....

WOW, I cannot believe someone tried to ride the popularity of vampires for a "Christian Approach"!!

I enjoyed your post tremendously!

Serena said...

This makes me sick. Of course, the Challies post brought me back to health through raucous laughter.

collettakay said...

Yeah, I really don't get it either. How can Twilight be expressing Christian values? Come on, really?

Christian Horror genre? We are to think on things from above.

Great post.

Ronnica said...

Couldn't agree more...stuff like that drives me bonkers. I'm not looking for a sanctified version of secular culture!

Amy DM said...

This was fantastic! I read a ton of books and many of them are Christian novels. I completely agree with your take on this.

BTW, I'm here from Elizabeth's site.

Top  blogs