Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Making the case for Christian fiction

Who loves a good story?

I certainly do! As a writer who is always looking for the next big story, I love it when God inspires me to weave a new fictional story after people watching at the mall or cafe, seeing a really good movie, listening to my favorite songs, experiencing a culinary experience comparable to none (I love good food), reading a sweet love story or inspirational autobiography, and spending time with loved ones.

My favorite books are inspirational romance by Christian authors such as Becky Wade, Katie Ganshert, Melissa Tagg and Stacy Hawkins Adams. I love reading Christian fiction because it inspires me and encourages me along my life journey. 

Now is there a place for Christian fiction on your bookshelf? If yes, you'll want to add books by Janet Sketchley to your collection. If no, then you'll want to read this guest post by Janet to see what you're missing.

Read on to discover why...

Can Christian Fiction Make a Difference?
A guest post by Janet Sketchley  

What I like best about Christian fiction is that God is included in the picture. A Christian in time of stress will likely pray for help or question God. The character may make any number of poor choices instead of relying on God, just as we might, but the story includes a spiritual dimension that feels more real to believers, and it can encourage us in our faith.

I love a good redemption novel, because it feels good to see someone discover the Lord. Being inside the head of a non-Christian character can give us a different perspective on how our words are heard and on the barriers a person may have to belief. Redemption novels, or redemption threads in novels about other things, remind me that my non-believing friends, who don't want to hear me preach, need my care in their lives and need my prayers for God to soften their hearts.

What touches me personally in a novel is watching characters grow in faith through their experiences. I'm not talking about dramatic miracles, which can feel fake in a novel even though they do happen in the real world.

The characters' spiritual growth will likely be more like ours on any given day. God may slip a word or idea into our thoughts, or we may see His timing in a "chance" encounter with someone who helps or encourages us–or who we help or encourage. We may have to repeatedly choose to rely on His presence, or on one of His promises, to keep ourselves together in crisis. We may experience life falling apart, and draw nearer to Him in a slow time of rebuilding.

For me, the best Christian reads are those that leave me with some little nugget of life-changing truth. They're not likely to be my favorite stories, because I do read for fun, but they're the ones that make a difference in my life.

Despite the controversy over The Shack, it's the only novel that's given me more than one of these gems (three, actually). And Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue's The Merciful Scar made a difference for me, too.

Have there been some Christian novels that impacted your life? Care to share?

Author bio: 
Janet Sketchley blogs about faith and books, and has a true-life story in the award-winning anthology, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. She's also the author of Heaven's Prey and Secrets and Lies, two novels of suspense and redemption. You can find Janet online at janetsketchley.caFans of Christian suspense are invited to join Janet's writing journey through her monthly newsletter:

Connect with Janet: 

1 comment:

  1. Alexis, thank you for the guest post opportunity, and for making the case for Christian fiction. I love how it can encourage and inspire us. And like you, I love good food!


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