What Is the Christian Fiction Writers’ Job?
It would probably be pretentious to say that it’s Christian fiction writers’ job to make God look good.
God doesn’t need our assistance in that regard. He already looks amazing, and he’s perfectly capable of showing as much. (Which is good considering how bad so much Christian fiction is these days.)
With that said, it is Christian fiction writers’ job to portray God as he is. Which, by definition, means making him look good, showcasing all his awe-inspiring qualities.
Summed up, God gets the final spotlight. Like this:
Make God the center of your story.
Writing Christian fiction means giving God the glory, whether it’s by showing his redemptive grace or unfailing love, his ability to work something beautiful out of any situation – modern or historical – or his assurance that he’s got our love lives in his hands.
As all those examples should show, giving God the glory is an overarching message that easily transcends whatever subgenre a Christian fiction writer chooses. Which makes sense when you think about it...
If God really is as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent (i.e., all-powerful, all-knowing, always around) and all-loving as we say he is, then he’s going to be involved in every aspect of our lives.
He’s the ultimate storyteller, a fact that should shine through our own storytelling attempts with our characters, plots, settings and dialogue – in a non-cheesy way.
So, when our characters make mistakes and then find a way through them, we Christian fiction writers are meant to make it clear where credit is due.
They didn’t move past whatever it was because they’re so awesome or because lady luck decided to throw them a bone. They did so because God opened doors for them or shined a light on the situation or took their hand.
When something horrible happens to our protagonists – losing loved ones, facing cancer, dealing with unjust accusations, suffering nervous breakdowns, living with anxiety or depression… – yes, it’s up to them to turn to God for help and healing. But that’s only because he gave them free will.
He was standing there beside them the whole time, waiting for them to ask. Waiting to comfort them somehow, someway.
Or if our creations look around at all their married friends, wondering when it’s going to be their turn already, once again, it’s supposed to be God who’s already working so very hard to satisfy the desires of their hearts.
In other words, Christian fiction should be based off of Christian fact.
Christian fiction writers are more than welcome to explore human accomplishments:
Pride in a job well done
The joy of working past a rocky time in one’s marriage
The ultimate satisfaction of not giving into temptation.
And, in fact, they should.
Christian fiction writers are also more than welcome to explore human shortcomings:
Emotional breakdowns from seemingly overwhelming circumstances
Mental or physical diagnoses that seem to come out of nowhere and for no reason
Working too hard to the detriment of family members or friends.
Again, they should. But while they do, Christian fiction writers are always supposed to show how our omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and all-loving God still manages to supersede it all.
That’s their mission statement. That’s their sole purpose in writing when they write in this genre. So that's the Christian fiction writers' job.