Some of you might think I’m crazy, while others will undoubtedly agree. While Christian Fiction is a multimillion dollar market, there is something sorely lacking in this genre. No, it is not talent, for there are many, many Christian authors that I look up to. I spent the majority of the past fifteen years reading Christian Fiction. Those books, without a doubt, shaped me as both a writer and reader.
The missing ingredient is, sadly, very obvious once you think about it. The majority of Christian Fiction does not include God working in the lives of the characters.
Before you object and cite an example from your favorite book, let me explain. God is a component in these stories. Faith in the Almighty, saving grace, and the plan of salvation are presented faithfully in at least 90% of the genre. But that is it.
Christian Fiction is written for Christians. We believe in not only the God of the Bible, but the God who actively works on our behalf. The latter half of that statement is the missing element in Christian Fiction. Think of your favorite Christian book. Did the characters get what they needed? Did everything work out? Was God credited at the end for the happily ever after?
Some people believe that God is a standoffish person, who at least set everything into motion, but since then has stood back and not done anything. Most Christians that I know do not subscribe to this theory. However, the majority of the genre written for us relegates the Creator of the Universe to the silent artist in the background, weaving the picture together until it is complete.
Does God work silently in the background, pushing us to where we need to go? Yes. Is that all He does? No.
I was one of the many loyal readers of the Left Behind series. Looking back, I can tell you the series stretched on too long. But I enjoyed reading the books. One reason that I enjoyed them is that they went somewhere that few other books go – they included supernatural events, credited to God working on their behalf.
Can this be overdone? Yes. Should Christian authors be careful when writing about such things? Yes.
But shouldn’t the genre written for us at least reflect the God we believe in? Does God part the Red Sea every day? No. Is He capable of doing it? Absolutely! It’s time for Christian Fiction to remember that we serve the God who is capable of miracles. Not just run-of-the-mill “I’m so glad I bumped into you today” things, but “she has no trace of that incurable disease anymore” moments. We serve the God who still does miracles. Why doesn’t our literature reflect that?