Sunday, 21 April 2013

R is for Religious

I've read a few Religious fiction books in my time, and like all genres, you have the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I like to read Christian fiction occasionally as I find them very thought provoking. It also find that it can sometimes be very spiritually fulfilling.

Probably the most interesting that I have read was The Shack by William P. Young. It was a self-published book in 2007 that was picked up by mainstream publishers and became a hit. Well, as much as any religious themed book can become a hit in the mainstream!

It's a very different book, where the main character meets three different manifestations of God as three different people and spends a week with them in a shack learning how to deal with traumatic events from his past.

I've also enjoyed some of the books by Francine Rivers, who writes Historical Christian fiction.

Then you have the bad. I'm not going to name any names, but I've read some that are very preachy and that I personally feel are written to guilt trip you in some way.

To use a very crude expression; you catch more flies with honey than with honey than vinegar. Just saying that makes me cringe a little, but I think it makes my point. Bashing people over the head with something is about the safest way to ensure they'll put up a wall against it.

Religion is a choice (albeit one that I've chosen to make) and telling people how to live their life, even though the medium of fiction, just doesn't sit easy with me.

For me to enjoy this genre, it has to be very carefully done.

So, my feelings over Religious fiction is a very mixed bag. Do you have any opinions, or do you tend to stay away from sensitive areas like this?

Sarah x


  1. This is an interesting post. For a little while I thought a story of mine has a touch of religious fiction because it's about a girl deciding to wear the headscarf, the next level in her faith. But now I don't think it is. Then again, I don't think I've read religious fiction. Thanks for this post!

  2. There is more to choose from these days.
    The problem is some of the best isn't getting picked up by the publishing houses.
    I've read quite a bit of historical christian fiction. There are some good one that accurately handle the time period and the faith is just part of the character's life. Bodie and Brock Thoene are probably the best (she wrote TV scripts and he was an historian)


  3. I love books that are gripping and show you something about life that you probably never knew or experienced yourself. There are Christian fiction books that are like that. My debut novel is Christian speculative fiction about a serial killer and his mother. It's dark, has difficult scenes somewhat similar to The Shack in that respect. I'd love for you to read it. Writer’s Mark


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