Articles face_of_literature

Published on March 3rd, 2014 | by Ilana Reimer

Changing the Face of Literature





Just like movies and video games, books can have a huge impact on us. Unfortunately today’s literature is overflowing with shallow, dark, and often inappropriate material.

As Christians, we can choose to avoid the worst of it, but we still end up reading novels that can affect us negatively. At the very least they are unhelpful for anyone trying to uphold Godly standards.

I don’t pretend that Colin Firth is necessarily an expert on this subject, but I think he accurately sums up the effect that reading can have: “When I’m reading a novel, I’m seeing the world differently during that time – not just for the hour or so in the day when I get to read. I’m actually walking around in a bit of a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism.”

This quote actually upset me because it is true. Books can change our viewpoint, and sadly the current material is, for the most part, guaranteed not to provide a godly outlook on life. Far from it.

Our generation of fiction is worldly, rebellious, and offers little hope or redemption. Worse than that, it often presents sin as enticing or fun. These are not the kinds of ideas we want to be filling our minds with!

And the scary thing is, as we become more and more exposed, we also become desensitized. But my point is not to bash current literature. What I mean to say is that it needs a major face-lift. And such a thing is not impossible. Just think of C.S. Lewis, who is known internationally as an author and Christian apologist.

C.S. Lewis recognized the need to tackle popular literature and win it over for Christ. He did exactly what I dream of doing: not only did he write books for Christians that challenged and convicted them, but he also wrote books that targeted non-Christians.

The Chronicles of Narnia is not a blatantly Christian series, but it clearly illustrates redemption, forgiveness and love. The Narnia series has sold over a million copies, has been translated into forty-seven different languages, and been made into multiple movies. It has become an iconic symbol in literature, and all the while, it tells the story of the Bible.

C.S. Lewis saw the world’s many needs, but he could only tackle one of them. His choice to infuse light and truth into literature resulted in a long-lasting impact that is still evident today.

That is why I think that it is not enough for Christians to simply steer clear of inappropriate literature. It is time for us to start asking ourselves how we can use this area to give glory to God.

It is vital for Christian writers to target this as yet another mission field; we can follow in the footsteps of C.S. Lewis and produce counter-cultural material that will change the direction of literature. It is time to alter the focus of books from immorality and sin to novels that are light-filled, pure, and lovely in the eyes of God.

We are called to shed the healing rays God’s light into every darkened place. Popular literature is one of the many channels that we can use to spread the news of Christ’s love to the broken, needy people of this world. Culture shapes generations. By slowly changing the face of culture to match the face of God, we can shift the whole world’s attitude.

And the sooner we get on it, the better.


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About the Author

is an 18-year-old high school graduate who was born in Ottawa, Canada. She loves acting, writing, photography, and hanging out with family and friends. She is currently living a small town in Ontario with her parents, two sisters and two cats. Over a year ago God placed a burden on her heart to change the direction and focus of today’s literature.



  • Liam Siegler

    Great Article!

    Thankfully I now only read books assigned for school, books for my literature class, Narnia, LOTR, and some other Christian book series.

    Thanks for this, it will certain keep me on guard when I am reading something and will remind me to ask this question, “Is this book glorifying to God?”

  • Thanks Ilana for making us think about what we read and write and how to make choices to the glory of God.

  • Kaira PrairieFrogs

    Good article, but…

    I think seeing things different ways is one of the things that makes fiction so good. When I read books that aren’t necessarily godly, I learn what it’s like to be without God’s love, and I understand our culture a bit more.

    I read a lot of Christian books too, and I don’t think it’s right to dwell on things that aren’t loving and pure. I try to read books that aren’t just yucky, but I do read a lot of modern fiction that isn’t exactly Christian, but I can learn a lot from.

    • Yes! I completely agree with you, and that is what I was trying to say. Christian books that attempt to preach their message, while definitely not bad, are often a turn off for non-Christians. On the other hand, books with good morals that are not overtly “Christian” are, in my opinion, more likely to be accepted in secular markets, and will likely reach more people.

      • Kaira PrairieFrogs

        I’m sorry, I think I misunderstood what you were trying to say. I agree that our culture could use more Christian, or Christian value books.

        • Don’t worry about it, I probably wasn’t very clear! :) I appreciate your support. Are you interested in writing yourself?

          • Kaira PrairieFrogs

            Yes I am. Currently I’m considering how best to get my opinions out there. I enjoy fiction, but I think that non fiction is what I will do.

          • Good for you! Do you have a blog? That is a good way to get your writing out there. :)

          • Kaira PrairieFrogs

            No I don’t. I might consider it at some point though.

      • Kaira PrairieFrogs

        Thank you for stepping out and being willing to get books out there that will get people thinking and “Shed the rays of God’s light.”

  • Rachel

    I’m so glad the Lord has put this call on your heart and I look forward to reading your literature in the future :)
    However, I do agree with Kaira as well. If we blindly consume today’s literature, we are certainly at a great risk of finding ourselves in an abyss of sin and confusion. Yet, C.S. Lewis himself says, “In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.” Certainly, the definition of “great literature” is open for much debate. But, sometimes, reading modern literature can be helpful for understanding the state of the world around us and opening up avenues of conversation for the purpose of reaching out to the lost. From my perspective then, it’s not so much about avoiding modern literature as being careful to discern where your heart is while your reading it and also making sure that it is only small portion of the material you are reading at any given time.

    Anyway, thank you for calling us to continue making an active difference in the world around us and to continue sharing light through the work we produce and the careers we pursue :)

    • Thank you so much for your feedback! And I agree with you in that definitely reading solely Christian literature deprives us of many other views and opinions. Rather than excluding it, my desire is for us as Christians to enter into that world of modern literature with writing that will reach non-Christians, rather than being stuck within the confines of the Christian market.

      • jessiethought

        “The confines of the Christian market” is right! As an avid reader, I find that the “Christian” market is SO stagnant. Other than nonfiction targeted towards Christians, the realm of Christian fiction is depressingly uniform and monochrome.
        I get so tired of “Christian” books and Christian fiction. Not that I don’t like hearing about Christ or God in the books that I read, but that it seems today’s Christian authors are just writing the same boring, cliched, formulaic stories. Honestly, secular literature seems to have a lot more good literature than Christian fiction does.

        That’s very disappointing to me.

        I, also, want to set out to change that. I don’t want to just complain about Christian writing and ignore it. I want to, first, find good Christian fiction that deserves to be read. (By good, I mean: life-changing, challenging, real, radical fiction. Like C. S. Lewis’ works, that may not always mean talking about God directly and obviously.)

        I also want to write good books. Books that edify and instruct and have moral themes, sure, but also books that Christians can enjoy without being sucked into ungodly patterns of thinking about sin and life.

        This is my dream: To redeem through writing. How exactly? What does that entail?–I’m not sure yet. But I definitely feel the need for quality writing that honors God, instead of undermining Christianity.

        Wow, this was a LONG comment. :)

        • Your dream is my dream! And I am so happy we can share it. Thanks for commenting :)

    • Kaira PrairieFrogs

      I love that quote. Literature’s greatest asset is helping us see and relate to other viewpoints, even if we don’t agree.

  • Bethany

    Though I enjoy a well-written non-fiction book, most of my reading is fiction of various genres. I was talking with my dad about a certain fiction series the other day and he said, “But it’s simply used as a means of escape!” And he said it like it was a bad thing. And I answered, “ABSOLUTELY!!” That is the wonderful gift of fiction. But I also believe that a good fiction book will not only provide you with an escape from reality, it will also provide you with answers TO your reality. After you “return to earth” you’re able to take the lessons you’ve learned in the “fake world” and change your life for good in the “real world.” I don’t consider myself a writer yet (I haven’t worked nearly hard enough to earn the title), but I do hope that there will be a generation of young people reclaiming fiction literature for Christ. And maybe someday, I can be a part of it too. :)

  • Brookie F.

    I just want to point out that we writers should be careful not to be preachy though. I know you said that in so many words. I just have read too many Christian books that were so preachy, they did nothing for me in my growth. That is why I love C.S. Lewis, his writing skills were amazing. He wrote of God’s love and mercy without making it punch you in the face.
    I loved this post. And I hope to help the world in the area of the written word someday. :)

    • Ahh this is so encouraging for me. I too have read for too many Christian books that sounded so contrived and resulted in everyone getting saved in the end. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t think it is helpful. Please keep going with your writing!

  • Marissa Haley

    It is interesting that I got this article in my inbox today, because I was just writing about time management on my blog. Novels can be a problem for us book-nerds, because we are so into the book that our daily studies can suffer. The point that Ilana makes about getting stuck in what we are reading is a problem that I think everyone has, but for those of us that have a really vivid imagination, it can be a type of death-trap. We are so entranced by the story, that we cannot put the book down for even a moment, and even when we are finished with it, we wander around thinking about the story. Essentially, we are living in the fictitious world created by the author of the book. As my Mum has told me many times, we need to live in the moment, enjoy the day that God has created for us to serve Him in, and step out of the fake world created by the imagination. While this is a temptation that we struggle with, we need to remember that God gave us this crazy imagination for a reason, and that if we just surrender to His will, there is no knowing where He will take us.

  • Sadie Clements

    As much as I agree with you on this, I also think we should be careful, using wisdom and discernment in what we read, including Christian literature. I know that recently I’ve picked up a book or two by a well known, well respected Christian author and found it repugnant. I was unable to finish the book. I wondered if the person writing the book knew what a stumbling block she was presenting to her brothers and sisters in Christ.
    I’m also excited, and encouraged. I have found it increasingly discouraging as I searched through shelves and shelves of books to find not one I’d be willing to read. Literature has become such a manifestation of Satan’s presence in the world–hearing there are so many young people who share a heart for God, and sharing His word through their writing is amazing and wonderful. I look forward to what we can accomplish, with God’s good will and purpose, His words being spoken through us to reach generations of those who are unsaved.

    • Beau Cornerstone

      Sadie – I’d encourage you to share with others when you do find books and ebooks which you are willing to read. I’ve previously managed a Christian bookshop, and it might surprise you that Christian bookshop managers don’t like the lack of choice in books any more than you do! One of the reasons I started writing ebooks was because of the lack of choice I feel there was for readers. Another was the issue of affordability.
      As a bookshop manager I could never understand the lack of variety, but as an author I’m starting to get insight into it. It might surprise you to know that hundreds of thousands of unique manuscripts (many of them potentially amazing books you’d probably love to read) are penned every year by solid Christians living all over the world – but only a handful of them are ever published. Why?
      Well a manuscript has got to get past dozens of hurdles to become a traditionally published book – hurdle one is the first person to read it at the publishing house has got to be captivated by the first five pages (most of the time they’ll only read the first five paragraphs.)
      Then the author’s credentials have to be evaluated. Many publishing houses won’t consider turning even a worthy manuscript into a book unless the author is the associate pastor of a famous church in a large city, or the personal friend of someone who’s already written a best seller. Moreover an author usually has to be available to engage in a round of speaking engagements, attend book signing promotions etc (so if you live outside the U.S. or are too young to do this you usually won’t get a look in.). And the list of hoops goes on and on.
      The end result? There are exceptions (like Do Hard things) but many of the books you find on the shelves in Christian bookshops have been written by “cookie cutter Christian authors”. An unknown author is often too big a risk – it costs money to publish books, printers, editors, proofreaders, marketing all cost money so traditional publishing companies can’t afford to make decisions which might cause financial loss. At the end of the day, they are a business and they have to stick to the business model which they think works best for them. Even if that means that many customers leave bookshops empty-handed.
      The good news is, an increasing number of skillful Christian authors and readers have found a way around this conundrum. It’s called the e-book. As a former Christian bookshop manager I encourage ANY writer who believes they have a God-inspired manuscript to turn it into an ebook through Smashwords, Amazon or a similar site.
      We’re all in love with the same Jesus but we aren’t all cut from the same cookie cutter and it would be a really boring world if we were. It used to grieve me when I saw customers leaving Christian bookshops empty-handed and spiritually hungry. So if God has placed in you the desire to write something unique like Ilana – then write! Some people might not agree with what you write, some readers might not like it, but what you write will be just right for others.
      If you’re a reader like Sadie who says she can’t find what she’s looking for on the shelves don’t give up. Become e-savvy if you aren’t already. Learn how to find free and low cost Christian ebooks online on Smashwords and Amazon. Use tag words and key words to assist you in your search. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you find the ebooks that are right for you spiritually. And when you find ebooks that satisfy you spiritually, let others know that these books and ebooks have been helpful to you.

      • Sadie Clements

        Amazing! Even though I have a close friend who’s an awarded and well-respected Christian author, I had no idea there were so many loop holes to jump through. Thanks for the insight, it’s really helpful. If I can finish a book, I will definitely look into what you’ve said about e-books, and try to share what other books/ebooks I’ve found to be inspiring and encouraging to me.

      • Sadie Clements

        That is amazing! I have a close friend–two, actually–who are both exceptional writers, and have both won awards for their books, but I never knew there were so many loop holes to jump through.
        Also, if things in the publishing business are really as difficult as you say it is, it looks like popular, modern literature is not the only place where Christians willing to lay down popular conformism are needed. It looks like the publishing industry may also need some reconfiguring.
        Also, if I do finish a book, I will definitely look into the possibility of putting it online.

      • Becca

        Thank you for your comment! I am currently working on a Christian fantasy book, and sometimes I get discouraged that no one will like it. I am hoping to publish it through Amazon, and I’ll be sure to check out Smashwords too!

        • Awesome Becca! I just started playing around with fantasy this year…and I am loving it! Do you have to self publish through Amazon, or how does it work? I am still trying to research publishing options…

          Good luck with the novel! :)

          • Becca

            I’m not really sure, someone I used to know has published a couple books through Amazon, and I know they won’t publish it if it’s not written well. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

            Thank you! Good luck with yours too!

            What other genres do you write? So far I’ve only written fantasy and nonfiction.

          • Mainly just short stories and historical fiction. What is your novel about? How far are you?

            I often find it hard to motivate myself to keep writing something as long as a novel…but I keep trying. :/

          • Becca

            Have you ever seen the T.V. show Avatar The Last Airbender? My story is kinda like that. I’ve set the time around the 1800’s, but my story is in a fantasy world so there may be variations. In my story there are four cousins (two of them are siblings) that are the last four connected to elements: earth, fire, air, and water. (similar to bending). They weren’t always the last ones, their relatives were connected too, but an evil man wipes them out for some reason. Alea and Zuron, two of the cousins that are really close, start running when find their houses burnt down and Zuron finds some men l0oking for them (Zuron is a 17 year old boy and Alea is 14 year old girl. They lived close to each other, but far away from anyone else, so the share a sibling like relationship.) One day they run into the other two cousins who are brothers, Bartholomew and Cyrus. Cyrus is connected to earth. He likes to be in charge but he doesn’t think ahead, he’s a bit thick headed, and he ‘throws rocks first, asks questions later.’ The rest of the story is about them running from this man, figuring out what he’s after, learning about a prophecy, and trying to complete it. I’m playing with the idea of the prophecy being about how when the world forgets the Separate one the prophecy will come to be. I still don’t have the ending worked out, but I’ll get there. I’m about 13 1/2 pages through it, but the story line is moving pretty quickly at the moment.

            One thing that keeps me going is that my friend and I are both writing a book, so every Saturday we are emailing a chapter/few pages/ect. to each other to keep us accountable.

            Another thing that may help is that when I had just began writing my story, I told my family about it. They brainstormed with me and we came up with tons new ideas. I wouldn’t be nearly as far with my story line of it wasn’t for them. It was also lots of fun talking to them about it.

          • Becca

            Sorry, that was really long. :)

          • Haha no worries! Your novel sounds very interesting, I hope I will get to read it someday! I love the idea of having a fantasy novel set in the past. That is what I chose to do as well. Sort of fantasy with historical fiction elements.

            Yes, I have talked over some points with my family, I too find it easier when I can bounce ideas off others. And I will try to have some accountability with friends – thanks for the suggestion. :)

      • kelcie ford

        Bro…THAT IS AWESOME!!! I never even knew it took that much JUST TO WRITE! I mean publish!! Thanks for the info. Plus ur right! Not a lot of Christ spiritual books out in stores, but I still choose some other books. I only read those filled w/ action & adventure, but sometimes, I slip. So I’m really glad there’re other places for books that God’d approve so I really can’t wait to read those kinds! Plus THANK U! For that awesome encouragement of writing books of our own, the God kind! It cheers me up PLUS I’ve totes been wanting to write one! It’s called Empiricism: a series. Totally got the idea after reading Divergent. Still, I have to clarify my plot & the world & the characters so…RAH! But overall I’m liking this. I really thought about this a long time & wanted SOMEplace to talk about it so THANK U SO MUCH Liam & Beau! It really means a lot to meet other book God-lovers. I pray God bless u each w/ creativity and grace in ur life. May a book idea about God spring from the gears in ur mind. Love u!!!
        Kelcie.
        PS: my main character’s named Klecie. Heehee

  • Joshua

    Yeah. i agree with you completely! Christian writers need to rise.

  • Trinity Westlake

    I agree. Books can defiantly change a persons view point, in fact they changed my life! I had never thought I’d become such a book lover. C.S. Lewis is one of my favourite authors, and yes, his magical stories do provide a person with a kind of inspiration. Though, he never truly aimed for the christian story in his work, but later on in his life he did admit that the life of Christ just had to have happened, putting all the evidence together.
    I love how he took the bible, then twisted it into a book that religious and non-religious people can read. Personally, I think what makes a book interesting is magic. Fantasy, adventure that makes a reader just have to continue onto the next chapter.
    So I agree. We must start using this unlikely literature to bring glory to God.
    But then, I also agree with Kaira. I also read ALOT of non-christian books. Its just that fiction and fantasy is just that bit more interesting. In books like that, I learn a new way to do things. A new way to know whats right, instead of saying directly that this is good, and this is bad, and this is what you should do.

    (Warning: Yes. I do like dragons for all those people who could become concerned during further reading.)
    The first book series that I fell in love with was the “How to Train Your Dragon” book series. Not a christian book. Then “Dragon Keeper” by Carole Wilkinson.
    But then I was introduced to the perfect book! “Dragons in our Midst” by Bryan Davis, then another “DragonKeeper” series by Donita K. Paul.
    So, I believe that as long as you find the right book for your style of reading, you’ll be ok.
    P.S. Love that last line: “And the sooner we get onto it, the better.” Because Its true, and people need the right reading now!

    • Yes! I am actually working on a fantasy novel right now, so it is interesting that you mention this as a genre you enjoy. And you are definitely right, painting things as black and white or good and bad isn’t a good idea, and isn’t helpful.

      One of the things I love about C.S. Lewis is the subtlety of his writing. (I am thinking in the Chronicles of Narnia). Not once do you ever feel preached at. Right and wrong are both presented clearly, yet they aren’t stated in as many words.

  • Thank you so much for your encouragement and suggestions. It is so uplifting to discover other people who share the same ideas. Good for you for challenging writing on “controversial” topics. Christianity is counter-cultural, and trying to make it otherwise means losing some of it’s truth and potency in the process. It is sad that Christian publishers are going in that direction.

    I do have my own blog, which has been so much fun and I have taken this year off to write, which has been a blessing in itself. And I will definitely look into Smashwords, thank you for the suggestion!

    • Liam Siegler

      Yes! I do agree that discovering people with the same ideas and beliefs if really and positively uplifting!

  • Yes! “That is why I think that it is not enough for Christians to simply steer
    clear of inappropriate literature. It is time for us to start asking
    ourselves how we can use this area to give glory to God” What a great point. Christians cannot simply ignore the mediums through which worldviews are expressed in today’s society. We must confront these mediums and use them to reflect God’s light! A very good article! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Keep up the good work!

    Signed,

    James W.

    • Thank you! It was only about a year or two ago that I finally understood that building God’s kingdom on earth can take so many forms – including using our talents and passions for things such as the arts to reshape our culture. And doing so is vital because our culture changes the way we think. So if Christians can infiltrate light into culture, the Christian message will be heard.

      • Amen! I would say that the arts have one of the largest impact on our culture. Just look at how many of our most common sayings originated or were influenced by brilliant artists. I wonder what the would would be like is Shakespeare had never penned “to be or not to be” or if da Vinci had never painted the Mona Lisa. Art is a powerful medium and as more and more Christians begin using it to the glory of God, we will be unstoppable!

        Signed,

        James W.

        • Liam Siegler

          Yes I agree!

          Art can range to anything from film, paintings, music, literature, and crafting. If we using these for the glory of God we can make more of an impact on the culture.

          God Bless,

          Liam Siegler

          • Indeed! Every type of art also expresses a worldview. When we recognize these worldviews, it adds a whole new dimension to the art!

            Signed,

            James W.

  • Marie Lemelin

    I agree that modern literature is in an utter state of moral chaos, just like the rest of a culture that denies God.

    Books are like friends, a good one can lighten your path and give you wisdom for the way while a negative one can turn your feet towards darkness and compromise. It is so important to choose a worthy book, and before you do, ask yourself if reading it is really worth your time.

    I like a website begun some years ago by a group of teenagers who were struggling with the lack of resources to find good books to read;

    http://wag2read.webs.com/

    Blessings as you journey on,

    Marie

  • I love the Narnia series and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were good friends. :)

  • Hayley Madison

    Thanks so much for this article! :) As I’m starting an autobiography, my first attempt at a full length book, this is such good inspiration for me, and a great reminder about what kind of literature this world needs today. :)

  • Annalysa

    I feel the same way about today’s books/reading material.
    I was at a used bookstore a few weeks ago and, since there were no teen books, the person who was working there said he was starting a teen section. He only had 2 books and wanted some more suggestions so I gave him some (Do Hard Things, Start Here, Zach Hunter’s 4 books, Kyle Idleman’s student edition books, etc) and while I was writing them down, he showed me the ones that he had. It was very sad to see what books there are for teens right now, much less kids. I have 3 younger siblings and we have to be *so* careful nowadays because the stuff they’re putting into these books not only include wrong teachings, but also words that are definitely “no-no’s” in my family.
    My friends and I are working on a story that has been in the making ever since last June. It really started as a fun game on the forums called “The Story that Never Ends” but now we’re hoping to finish it and get it published.
    Anyway, thanks for what you’re doing and keep it up!

  • Great article, Ilana! As a writer, I never cease to be amazed at the power of fiction. People are willing to take a look at so many different issues through the lense of fiction, while they would never consider reading an article or listening to a lecture on the same topic. The trick is to not turn a story into the lecture the readers are trying to avoid. We need more Christian authors dedicated to quality and open to learning. And aware of the needs you’ve mentioned. Thanks again!

    • That is a good way of putting it: “People are willing to take a look at so many different issues through the lense of fiction, while they would never consider reading an article or listening to a lecture on the same topic.”
      Excellent point, thank you. :) What sort of things are you interested in writing?

      • My dream is to write contemporary stories about orphans. One of those topics that’s easy for people to gloss over, but they might take action if they knew more. Writing and orphans are definitely my to passions. What do you write about?

        • That is incredible! To write about something that you are passionate about – especially when it is often overlooked. I am currently attempting a fantasy novel, but I am also writing a short story on sex-trafficking because that is another justice issue that I feel a lot of people either ignore or know little about.

          • Oh. Sex-trafficking is another subject my brother and I are pretty passionate about. And it’s challenging to write about too. Such a fine line to walk between doing justice to the reality of the subject without becoming too graphic. I’d love to read your short story if you don’t mind sharing it when you finish.

          • Yes, that is something I have been working through as well. How to portray such awful circumstances accurately without being offensive or, as you say, too graphic. I am hoping to post it on my blog when I have finished it.
            http://beautyinsmallthings.wordpress.com/

            Are you writing something at the moment?

          • I’m currently editing a novel that’s set in the future and is about a teenage girl in the persecuted church. Next up is either a book about a boy on a missions trips who gets pulled into a battle to keep a young girl away from sex-traffickers or one about a Ukrainian orphan who becomes a Christian and struggles to maintain his faith amid his unsympathetic orphanage peers.

          • Wow, I like that first idea! That is incredible. :)

            Do you find it hard to make the time to write, in the midst or life, or are you able to set aside blocks of time to accomplish what you want to?

          • The persecuted church one or the missions trip one?

            Well, right now I have the privilege of being able to write more or less full time. My parents gift to me for finishing college early. My main difficulty at the moment is trying to push through writers block to actually utilize the time. What about you?

  • JocelynRMendez

    Thank you, Ilana, for your article.
    Like you, I feel the call to write. I have had this passion for years, but I shoved it on the backshelf, thinking that it can’t be so.
    “Who do I think I am that I can be a writer?” I asked myself.
    “A call to write is not as important as being a missionary or minister,” I explained away.
    But that’s not true. The call to write is just as important as any other call.
    Writers are culture-shifters and that is no small call.
    Your article moved me to reach up to that back shelf and pull my gift down.
    Thank you, Ilana. See you in print! :)

    • I completely understand because I struggled with the exact same thing for a long time. But like you, I finally understand that God can use all our gifts to build His kingdom. And furthermore, He WANTS us to love what we are doing. I am so humbled and awestruck that He not only wants us serve Him, but lets use our own creativity and personal gifts towards that end.

      I am so glad you are writing again! Keep it up.

  • I love seeing that there are other’s who have a heart for writing and literature. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors, I myself read the Narnia series. I’m writing a book now with the Title, Follower to One Leader to All. the meaning of the title literally means that i plan to only follow Jesus Christ, and the Leader to all: is my adventure, and my mission to impact other with this books and to encourage others not to be changed by our culture but to be culture changers.

  • Skyla

    I myself am a fellow author and am working on a couple books myself. I love that quote as well. And while I agree with all that’s been presented, simply because it does not point to God…is that what you are referring to? Is an exciting, clean fiction book “acceptable”?

    I’m purely curious as to the views my fellow Christians have.

    (As a side note I would like to say that though I have not been active in ways of posting this last year or so I have faithfully read the articles through my email and they have been a great encouragement to me and I thank you all for that. God has really used you all in my life.)

    • For what it’s worth, I believe exciting, clean fiction is acceptable. I also think that Ilana wasn’t taking issue with fiction that doesn’t explicitly point to God, but rather with fiction that actually encourages and endorses things God hates. She held up C.S. Lewis as an example for writing books for Christians (non-fiction), but also books for non-Christians (fiction) that impacted the world and that were characterized by beauty, truth, and goodness — even though they were not explicitly Christian. Does that make sense?

      • Skyla

        Thank you for the clarification I was simply curious!!!

        • Hey Skyla! Thanks for taking the time to read my article!

          I have no problem with a book being “secular.” It’s just that the majority of secular books are hardly worth reading – if you are looking for something edifying, than they won’t do the trick.

          I am currently writing a novel that does not have a blatant Christian message. Rather, it’s purpose is to provide more wholesome entertainment for a wider audience than would be available on the Christian market, and maybe get people to think a bit as well. Anything to change the current trend in popular literature.

          I hope that makes sense?

          • Skyla

            I understand your standpoint and I would be curious as to your opinion of the book I’m currently writing. It’s not a “Christian” book (being all about Christ) but it doesn’t exclude immorality because that is a part of the world. It’s not horrible and it’s not encouraged in my book… Perhaps I could send you some of it after I continue to make progress.

            Thanks you though!

            Your sis in Christ

          • I would love to read it! I believe that being “real” about the evil that is going on is important because that is part of what makes a book relatable, and therefore have more of an impact. Your book sounds interesting, keep writing! :)

  • Skyla

    I also just realized the date of this article as well…

    • Don’t worry Skyla! A lot of of our authors still check back on their posts and your comments showed up as “Recent Comments” on the sidebar, so people may see that and come respond. =)

      • Skyla

        Ahh okay! I haven’t taken the time to explore the new site. I’ve only been reading the posts since you got a new website a while back!

  • leinad

    Is it just me but is anyone else disgusted with the amount of rubbish movies with bad scenes with unmarried men and women.

  • Mary E. Gibson

    I agree but we need to get so called “Christian” publisher’s on board as well! So many are owned by secular companies now that they will publsih anything that they know will get them the most money!

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