Publetariat Dispatch: Is God Necessary In Christian Fiction?

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, indie author Virginia Ripple wonders how specific Christian Fiction needs to be with respect to the “Christian” part.


In Mike Duran’s post How Do We “Glorify God” in Our Writing? I discovered I wasn’t the only person asking if you can write a Christian story without specifically mentioning God.

As Mike points out, it seems most Christian writers (and I would say most Christians) think you absolutely must include God specifically in a story in order for it to be Christian:

…And, sadly, that’s what many folks mean by glorifying God in their writing. For most Christian writers, glorifying God is all about their message. It means not backing away from the Gospel and not avoiding references to Christ in their novel. It means developing content that is virtuous, redemptive, and spiritually uplifting.

Which leads me to ask: Can only writers of explicit “Christian content” glorify God in their writing?…

IF NOT — if only Christian writers can glorify God in Christian stories — then how can a Christian ever hope to “do all to the glory of God”?

IF SO — if Christians can glorify God in whatever kind of story they write (or task, service, job they perform) — then how is glorifying God in a Christian story any different than glorifying God in a “secular” story?…

This is a question I’ve struggled with for years. I enjoy reading secular fantasy. I’ve tried reading Christian fantasy, but found it lacking (although I really enjoy Christian thrillers like This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti). My natural inclination is to write secular fantasy, but I feel compelled to follow the path writing greats like C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien have blazed. They wrote what they wanted to read because what they wanted wasn’t already abundantly available.

I want to write Christian fantasy that I would want to read, which may or may not explicitly mention God. But would it be considered Christian if I don’t get explicit about the Gospel?

So, what do you think? Should writers mention God in order for their work to be considered Christian, or can a Christian writer “glorify God” without getting specific?


This is a reprint from Virginia Ripple‘s The Road to Writing.

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One Response to Publetariat Dispatch: Is God Necessary In Christian Fiction?

  1. KristinK November 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    The Chronicles of Narnia springs to mind, speaking of CS Lewis. Very Christian allegory, all fantasy. The series casts one of the broadest shadows in all Christendom and has had enormous influence on all literature. Never mentions God once. It is however, abundantly clear tha Aslan is a Christ figure etc.

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