Saturday, May 2, 2009

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday - Too Edgy?

My friend Amy is the host for Faith 'n Fiction Saturday. She poses the questions and we try to answer them. If you're interested, check it out here.

Today's topic is: Christian fiction is generally known for being clean and non-offensive, but lately there's been a lot of chatter about edgy Christian fiction and the need for Christian fiction to be more realistic. Christian fiction has certainly changed and contains a lot more edge than it used to. This makes some readers uncomfortable, and I was wondering what your line is? What would push the envelope too far for a Christian fiction novel for you? Language? Sex? Violence? Main characters who never believe in Jesus?

If you came across something that offended you in a Christian fiction book, how would you handle it?

My Response:
Of all of the categories that would make me uncomfortable, only two go over the line. Profanity has no place in Christian fiction. When I read Stephen Baldwin's The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips, I was negatively surprised at the profanity. Even the Lord's name is taken in vain. I don't understand how that book can be defined as Christian fiction.

Adult themes can be a bit hairy in a Christian fiction work, but good taste can reign supreme. Sex can be written into a novel without a play-by-play account.

If any character--even the protagonist-- refuses Christ, that does not bother me; in fact, it is quite realistic.

I happen to like edgy Christian fiction; I like that realistic topics are found in good plots. I feel that a good writer ought to be able to handle it and write to honor Christ.


Anonymous said...

I'm about 2/3 on the same page. :) Really appreciated your answer - great topic today isn't it? I think more dialog on this is healthy. My answer is up at Free Spirit-

Amy said...

yeah, I hope everyone understood I didn't mean you can't have sex as part of the story..just not explicit sex!

Nise' said...

Well said. I am a fan of edgy CF and prefer stories about people dealing with real life as they walk through their journeys. I have not read that book and would have been surprised by that type of profanity too.

Lynn Squire said...

Amen, well said.

bigguysmama said...

Now, this is actually one book that I might have read because of the positive reviews I'd read...all of which explained that there was a lot of swearing. Don't know why, but something about the story pulled at me. Haven't read it though.

I do enjoy romance. Hello Song of Solomon. :) I agree with many people about shutting the bedroom door. We know it's gonna happen, don't need or want details.

We all know that for a couple to get together there has to be chemistry. Let the tension's always fun for the reader. :) thanks. And yes, I've been known to say expletives, unfortunately.

Violence, it just depends. Not my kind of genre so I don't read it anyhow.

As for the people becoming Christians, it's not always necessary for me either.


Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Sally - I don't generally do the Faith 'n Fiction meme (and I don't read a lot of CF), but I was interested in the various answers to this one.

I agree with you that 'edgy' themes mimic reality. Maybe a book with these edgy/realistic ideas will have more of a crossover appeal for mainstream readers who will then dig deeper into the questions it raises (about faith)