I’m so glad to introduce you to Sara Davison today, through this guest post. Sara is the author of romantic, Christian suspense and has a new book, Vigilant, releasing June 1, 2019. I have recently finished reading it and will be sharing my review on Monday.
In the meantime, Sara is sharing today her insightful views on whether there is value in Christian fiction or not.
In Defence of Christian Fiction
by Sara Davison
I recently attended a meeting at a church in my city. A large bookcase dominated one end of the small room, and my eyes were drawn to scan the titles stacked on its shelves as I waited for the meeting to begin.
Seeing this, a man at the table, a spiritual leader in the community for whom I have tremendous respect, asked me how many of the books on the top shelf I had read.
The titles were impressive: all non-fiction, theological treatises by well-known and well-respected authors, most from another era. Many were on my to-read list, and I had read and been impacted by several of the others, and I told him that.
I added that I had also read most if not all of the books on the second shelf (the traditional “fiction level”). He responded with a wave of his hand and the words “I don’t really care about the second shelf.”
I let it go. As I mentioned, I have tremendous respect for this man, and his off-hand comment did not change that. It did, however, get me thinking. We do tend to fall into one of two camps as readers of Christian literature: the fiction and the non-fiction. The readers of serious non-fiction often treat fiction dismissively at best, and contemptuously at worst. To be fair, fiction readers have a tendency to consider non-fiction books dry, boring, and void of any application to real life.
In my mind, this should not be an either/or proposition. It’s more of an eye/foot/hand one: each of us has been given different gifts and all gifts are needed in order for the body to function as a strong, healthy whole.
Not only that, but a lengthy theological treatise that contains no stories will quickly be put down by all but the most devout and academic of readers. We are created for story. By God’s design, our wandering attention can be instantly captured and brought back to a speaker who launches into a relevant anecdote, as any pastor will tell you. So a work of non-fiction, to demonstrate the applicability of its teaching and to retain the attention of its reader, must include stories. Jesus knew this, and demonstrated it over and over as he spoke to the throngs of people who crowded around him, desperate for his teaching.
On the flip side, good Christian fiction, to have any serious impact, must be rooted in and informed by strong, Biblically-sound theology. Otherwise it is not useful for anything beyond offering its readers a few hours of mindless diversion, an escape from life rather than a model on how to deal with its challenges. Christian fiction takes the principles laid out in the non-fiction treatises and demonstrates how to live those principles out in reality. It shows, not just tells, what it looks like when faith is tested, when trials come that rock that faith, what we can cling to when our world comes crashing down around us. In short, Christian fiction offers hope that what is found in those theology books actually stands up in real life, through the grace of God.
The two camps are not, or at least they shouldn’t be, at war. Neither should be scornful of the other. Authors and readers of both non-fiction and fiction, if they are believers working together for a common cause—to bring glory to God and advance the kingdom—need to recognize their need for each other, develop a respect for what the other has to offer and for the calling God has placed on each of their lives, and support and encourage each other in their endeavor to bring light into a world in desperate need of it.
by Sara DavisonSeries: The Night Guardians #1
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date June 1, 2019
Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Canada Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
She must choose between the man who represents the law and the one who may have taken it into his own hands. Neglected by her parents for most of her life, Nicole Hunter keeps everyone, especially men, at arms’ length. So when Attorney Gage Kelly walks into the diner where she is waiting tables one evening, she fights her attraction to him with everything she has.
Gage and his brother Holden grew up in an abusive home, and Gage has baggage of his own. But the connection between him and Nicole is too strong to ignore, and Gage manages to convince them both that their relationship is worth the risk. Then children begin disappearing in the night.
When Detective Daniel Grey starts to close in on the child snatcher, and enlists Nicole’s help, she faces her deepest fear. Everything and everyone she has clung to so tightly could be ripped from her, leaving her completely alone.
Except for one.