Reaching out through fiction

bookCarl Ellis Jr. tells Christians to speak into the culture, affirming core Biblical values without necessarily naming them as Biblical, in order to nudge the culture back toward Biblical norms and begin the process of preparing the soil for planting, so to speak.

Tim Keller says that Christians who want to follow Biblical examples of living in a pagan society need to come out from the cloister and participate in the culture.

It seems to me that a writer has some gifts that the Lord may want to use for this. Ellis mentioned blogging. How about writing fiction?

Many fiction writers in the Christian marketplace want to reach out to nonbelievers, but in fact they tend to write for Christian readers. Faith elements are included in their books, sometimes overtly. There are statistics showing who the readership is: believers, by and large.

So how do we reach out to non-believers?  Especially in the Christian young adult publishing world, there’s a movement afoot to write “crossover” books, ones that can be sold in the general marketplace.  But what’s a crossover book?  How can we make it a good read for a nonbeliever, yet faithful to our calling?

Writer and agent Terry Burns has some words on the subject. “The goal in trying to reach the non-believer is never to allow our faith to be in the book. If we do that we are talking directly to the readers, we are preaching, and they are sure to put it down. Instead the interaction of the characters has to deliver the message, some having faith and some not.” (http://christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/dec-11-buzz_hart.html)

And the message, I might add, must be a subtle one. We can start by affirming Biblical values.

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