Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why I Write Christian Fiction

by Elva Cobb Martin

The beginning of a new year is a good time to remind myself that I am above all a Christian writer, endeavoring to write Christian fiction. Two opposite worldviews drive fiction today.

Jesus in John 10:10 gives a succinct description of the two "drivers" behind fiction (and life itself).

            "The thief comes not but to steal, kill and destroy. 
          I am come that they may have life and have it more abundantly."

Our son Tim and grandson Samuel, both readers.
I am not writing fiction just to get books published, sold, and give readers an exciting read. A deep desire burns in my heart to also see readers and generations to come, be able find some truth that enlightens, some kernel of God's abundant life that helps them on their way.

This is not the main goal of secular fiction. Christian fiction and secular fiction are divided by two vastly different worldviews. Many believe America has lost her moral compass, so it is more vital than ever that I do everything I can to turn this tide around in my writing (as well as in my lifestyle).

Someone has said worldview can be determined by the answers to three questions:

  • How did we get here and who are we?
  • What went wrong?
  • What can fix it?                                                                                                
The Christian world view short answers would be:  
  1. God created the world and made mankind in His image to have dominion.
  2. Adam and Eve sinned and brought condemnation and Satanic rule upon      mankind.   
  3. Sin must be punished but God loved mankind so much He sent Jesus Christ as our substitute to defeat Satan and take our punishment so we could be forgiven and restored to God's original plan.                         
A naturalist worldview would have quite different answers to these questions and secular novels, movies and TV reflect this. This kind of story can steal one's peace and faith in God, tempt into sin, and leave one with a cynical outlook on life and the future. And it's all part of the enemy's deception to keep people in bondage. Truly, two different spirits are inspiring writers today!

In my writing I want to expose the lies and tricks of the devil and show that good does conquer evil, that God's great drama will prevail and believers can confidently look forward to a happy ever after. I want to increase hope, faith and peace in my readers. Otherwise, I'm just not interested in all the hard work it takes to write novels. 

Prayer over my writing is a vital component. I am convinced Father God is interested in getting Christian writing, including fiction, out where it can do some good. So I study, write and rewrite and rewrite some more. ( :

I believe there will always be a great market for Christian fiction because the world is looking for hope.

I think that's a big part of Downton Abbey's success. It is now touted as the best selling series in British TV history. (Sorry, Agatha, Jane Austen and Sherlock.)

Writer Julian Fellowes was asked what he thought has made the series so popular. Here's his answer: "Most of the characters are just decent people trying to do their best with the cards they've been dealt. They are just trying to live a decent life."

Christian writers have much more hope to give for those cards life may deal our characters.

Why do you write fiction? Do you believe God loves good stories that illuminate life more abundantly? Do you think America needs us to keep at it?

Thanks for stopping by and do join the conversation.

Elva Cobb Martin