So, we are starting a book club and were deciding on books. We all agreed we did not want any doctrinal books, but then the one lady said she did not want any Christian fiction either. i did pick out a couple that are not the typical "Christian fiction" types..... and at least one is on the list.
Have you run into this often? People tend to think of christian fiction as either badly written books, not controversial enough, or too preachy....
What things do you do to combat that?

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As Abraham Lincoln said, you can't please all the people all the time. An important part of book club is expanding your choices to books you would never otherwise pick up. In the past few years, there have been book club selections I could have died happy without reading, but I've experienced stories and authors that have been very meaningful and enjoyable, too.

God is the Master Storyteller. I can't imagine not wanting to read Christian fiction. Like mainstream books, some Christian authors are better communicators and storytellers than others, but I've found that they all have something to say and God delights in speaking to us in relevant and creative ways.

Perhaps your best course of action is to allow members to take turns choosing book club selections - fiction, classics, non-fiction, etc. Not everyone will like every book, but everyone will be blessed through building relationships, sharing thoughts, and experiencing the joy that comes from written words.

Remember to set your boundaries early! Blessings!
Angela R.

 I can't imagine not wanting to read Christian fiction either!

We Christians need to read books that grapple with reality, and no one should better understand real reality: Sin, Consequences, Justice, Mercy, Love, Truth, Evil, Goodness, God, Redemption, and the elements of life: Love, Forgiveness, Joy, Grief, no one should better understand these than the Christian. We know the Lord of all of Life!  

Do we understand all of this perfectly? Never! But , we can wrestle with these facts and then lead people to the One who knows them and their circumstances, the One who can help. And we can tell a fearfully good tale as we go! 

We must continue to read and write powerful books that deal with all of these things in a Biblically grounded way. We must!

I think that every book or TV show that deals with life honestly eventually returns to the Christian view of things, whether it is openly acknowledged or proclaimed or not. 

For example, I am watching an old tv series about Detectives. In this series, which aired on secular Tv, themes of justice, sin, redemption, etc, all unfolded. And they did so in a way that squared with Scripture because that is how life operates! Sin has consequences. It isn't pretty. And if a book, or tv show, deals with that fact, they will be operating from a very basic Biblical worldview.

Now, I am always left hungering for the characters to move beyond the bascis of realizing that they need to straighten up and be redeemed after their bad choices, and come to know the One who can give them Full Redemption by His blood.

That is why I wish that the {very few} secular series I have enjoyed had been Christian, because in Christian fiction we can have that redemption, we can take them past moral living and right and wrong to the foot of the Cross. 

So that is my two cents, and I hope it made sense. :) :)  Christian fiction is the the only fiction that deals with reality, and deal with reality it must. 

I may have a solution for this. It's called "Fiction and Truth: Stories that Speak to the Soul." It's a collection of short fiction stories, written by over 20 Christian fiction authors, each followed by a Life Application written by the author. So you get a touch of fiction (not a whole novel) with nonfiction comments about the story (along with a Scripture verse). Book club members who like fiction will find authors they know and also discover new ones. Those who don't care for novels might find that they can get a lot out of a fiction story. They'll learn how to apply a novel's story and characters to their own lives and struggles. Kinda like Jesus' parables.

There's an online book club that's currently using "Fiction and Truth" and the members are really enjoying it!

If you're interested in the book, you can find it at www.KathyIde.com or e-mail Kathy@KathyIde.com. It's also on Amazon, but kind of hard to find for some reason I haven't figured out yet.
I think some "Christian" books become so focussed on the message that they forget to entertain. In my Seeds of Christianity Series, I've tried to present the Biblical characters the way their contemporaries experienced them -as real people. Book One, Witness, starts at the beginning with a young shepherd girl, Rivkah, who goes to Bethlehem and holds the baby Jesus. She lives out her life in 1st century Judea and, at the end of the book, encounters him on the cross. In Book Two, DIsciple, Rivkah and her family convert to The Way, face Saul's persecution and flee to Antioch to establish the Church there. Both books are Biblically and Historically accurate and available at Amazon and other internet booksellers...search for Witness E G Lewis or go to the publisher's website, capearagopress.com
I'm coming in a bit late, and it appears most of the ground has been covered. I lean a great deal toward Fred's comments, and would be interested in the lady's definition of "Christian fiction." Is it a story with an overt Christian message (e.g., at least one dramatic conversion scene and a lot of Scripture references) or a story written with an embedded Christian worldview? Both have their niches in the market. I tend to prefer fhe latter (ala MaryLu and others), and it's the mode in which I've written my most recent novel. But that's just me. It would be good to have a little more information as to what in "Christian fiction" offends this particular person.
Of course, like every other writer here, I'll offer up my books. Try one and see what you think. I am a Christian who is a secular writer with a Christian world view. I think you will find my works refreshing. You will be able to share them with your secular friends. You can read the first chapters of each at www.ldalford.com or at amazon. You can get a taste for my writing at www.pilotlion.blogspot.com where I am blogging a novel while explaining the writing of it. My published works are:
Historical Fiction
Centurion - about the Centurion who crucified Christ, it's from the Roman point of view.
Aegypt - a suspense novel about the 18th Egyptian Dynasty and 1926 Tunisia
The Second Mission - about Socrates and Athens in 399 BC
Science Fiction
The End of Honor
The Fox's Honor
A Season of Honor

My pubisher is OakTara and they have contracted 2 other novels for publication.
The only way to combat this misconception is to read a christian mystery or romance and you'll be hooked. As Christians, we are not aliens, just ordinary people who love God and humanity. I read a book by a friend who's a Christian writer who wrote a delightful story about a pastor who wrote sci-fi on the side and hid it from his church. I'd love to write it myself and intend to try. My memoir, . . .AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG is a very spiritual book regarding the loss of my daughter to a drunk driver and it has spiritual overtones throughout it but because it's non'fiction and there are a few mild swear words in it, I wasn't sure it fit as Christian writing. I need to learn the guidelines as well. I have no desire to write fiction, except short stories but I would love to write non-fiction with a christian undertone to it. Just my thoughts.

Micki Peluso


Martha, I could say a lot about "Littluns" but think it best for you to discover why people are saying that "Littluns" is a very different reading experience for both Christian and secular readers.

You can discover "Littluns" at...

http://www.instantblogsubscribers.com/entry.php?w=littluns&e_id... Page 1 of 3

BLOG: http://www.littlunsblog.com SEE TABS at top of page. This has the most information including buying options, awards, reviews, and articles.

WEBSITE: http://www.littluns.net See sample chapter, video, and merchandising, and for purchasing the book.

Also on the website:

1. Click on the MAP TAB.

2. Click on any one of the RED stars and it will take you into the map to characters and locations.

3. Return to MAP and repeat steps two and three to see this one-of-a-kind novel that takes readers from fantasy to reality and truth.

What Other People Are saying about “Littluns.”

The novel, "Littluns: And the Book of Darkness" is the "Mom's Choice Awards" Gold winner in two categories: FICTION, and also winner for FANTASY, MYTHS, and LEGENDS Gold, and winner of “The Dove Award” for 2010, and more, offering the best in family reading, content, and values, within an adventure that will touch readers heart’s and enrich their souls. Although “Littluns” is family friendly reading, it is best understood by "Young Adult" readers and grownups of all ages, with that spirit of a child’s innocence in all of us just waiting to be experienced all over again. You can see the awards and read the reviews at http://www.littlunsblog.com

All the best,

Mark

P.S. If you have any questions, all you have to do is ask.
Thanks for all the opinions!!! This is great!
I did put in a Christian fiction book in our list of books we are reading. We will see how it goes....
First, Martha, where in Montana? That's where I am! I live in Missoula.

Second, I take a book I love like Allison Pittman's new one, For Time & Eternity, or a really different one like Tosca Lee's, Demon: A Memoir. These books are so well written and cause intense discussion! That's what you want, right? Interesting discussion?

I'd read without telling them what they are. I ask, "Can I read you something? I just love it and want your thoughts." If they ask what it is, I tell them the title only and say, "Hang on, you've got to hear this!" Then launch into reading a page or two. Gauge their reaction and go from there. You've been honest and wise at the same time. You'll hook them on the first page :-)

Then third, I'd really appreciate your consideration in the future on my books due out in May. Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life and the Gems of Wisdom Companion Guide. They are non-fiction if your group is open to non-fiction. I'd love to come to your group, if possible. I'd have a lot of fun discussing any of these books with the club.

May you be filled with joy,
Angie Breidenbach
I am up north of you!! In Kalispell! = ) I was just in Missoula last week for a GD conference.
A GD conference? Is there a writing conference right under my nose I don't know about? Argh! Hey, I'd come to Kalispell! And you should let me know next time you're here so we can meet and do coffee!

Angie

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