By Andrea GriggI was going to write something completely different, but after reading Iola’s blogpost on Wednesday, I decided to put in my own two cents worth about Christian fiction.
When I started writing, I was horrified when someone told me that there are Christians who are very much opposed to fiction. Why? Because it isn’t serious enough … we shouldn’t be wasting our time on fluff when we could be out there evangelising the world …
At first I thought they were having me on, but then I read a couple of comments on a post on the internet, voicing that exact opinion, and it saddened me. I’ll explain why.
Iola mentioned Jesus telling stories. Let me quote this passage from Matthew 13—it’s especially good in The Message translation:
The disciples came up and asked, ‘Why do you tell stories?’The first time I heard that scripture in this context (thank you, Jo-Anne Berthelsen) was at the Word Writers’ Getaway in Brisbane. Boy, did it hit me hard. Not only did it resonate and affirm what I believe God has called me to do—it also gave me a deep sense of responsibility.
He replied, ‘You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight.
The word is a powerful tool—there’s no disputing that. Stories have been used down the ages to remind us of historical events, exploits of heroes and heroines, lessons to be learned and of course, simply for entertainment.
Ooh—entertainment? Isn’t that a bit frivolous?
Not at all. To entertain is simply to provide amusement or enjoyment. Nothing wrong with that. God did create us with the ability to laugh, after all.
I’m an avid reader of fiction. Why? Because I love escaping into someone else’s head, reading about their life journey, their trials and tribulations, their relationships. I learn things too. Reading is a brilliant way to gain general knowledge.
Reading can also inspire. How many times have you read a fiction novel and felt motivated to do better, be more appreciative, have the courage to step out? My personal answer is ‘lots!’
And as a writer of Christian fiction, that is my aim—to inspire and encourage my readers in both their walk with God and each other.
Christian fiction? Love it!
Andrea Grigg lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and is a writer of contemporary Christian romance. Her first book, ‘A Simple Mistake’ was published in April 2012. Recently retired from primary school teaching, Andrea is currently writing her second novel, tentatively entitled, ‘Too Pretty’.
Twitter: @andreagrigg https://twitter.com/andreagrigg