My Friend Amy and Deborah have started something, I think.
• Amy’s post 1
• Amy’s post 2
• Deborah’s post
• #CFChat transcript from this week, with more chats to come (the next one is Monday at noon Central, again).
• I posted about this a week ago, too, and I’ve got notes for more.
Whenever there’s a big discussion, I always feel the need to go back to basics — to definitions, to be more specific. The discussion will be less productive and meaningful if we aren’t understanding terms they way others are using them.
Like any definition, my working definition of Christian fiction is imperfect. It’s subject to change, and it’s flawed.
When I say “Christian fiction,” I mean novels published by Christian publishing houses.
I get frustrated by this definition frequently, though. It excludes Jan Karon’s Mitford series, for example, because they’re published by Viking. And yet content-wise, that’s where the series fits, in my opinion. It also excludes most literature considered Christian classics, from C.S. Lewis to Flannery O’Connor — not to mention basically all of the Image Journal list.
And yet I stick with this definition because it’s harder to draw the line anywhere else.
How do you define Christian fiction?
The books I *most* want to read don’t fit neatly in any category. I want to read well-written, literary:
• books that are messy, like real life,
• fiction that’s thought-provoking and embodies Truth,
• stories that don’t have all the answers, that are OK with gray, that raise big questions and let mystery hang in the air.