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A more biblical view of morality and fiction

November 22, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

What does it mean to be a Christian writer of fiction?  That all your characters live out a high level of morality?  If so, then according to L. B. Graham, we might be equating Christianity with moralism or good behavior.  Not that the two are unrelated but they are certainly not equal.  Graham suggests three ways we could have a more biblical view of morality and fiction.

“First, we should remember that we do live in a moral universe and attempts to portray immoral behavior as free from consequence cuts against the grain of reality.”

“Second, we should remember that portrayals of characters with ‘good morals’ doesn’t mean a book is Christian.”

“Third, the portrayal of sin in realistic terms, and even the attribution of sinful struggles and moral failures to key characters, even good ones, doesn’t necessarily prove the author condones such behavior.”

Graham’s conclusion,

“At the end of the day, I don’t see many Christian fiction writers leaving much doubt that they believe God’s standards for human behavior are both good and right. What I do see is a certain level of discomfort if characters portrayed in some way as “good” are given significant moral struggles or weaknesses. I hope this will change and that audiences and authors alike will embrace a redemptive rather than a moralistic view of stories – both their own and the one’s they read.”

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  1. November 24, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Perhaps my new release, Angela 1: Starting Over, has the qualities Graham advocates. See for yourself, because as author I may be biased. For more information, just click on my website.

    • December 12, 2009 at 9:51 am

      If you sent me a copy, either my wife or I would do a review for you. Let me know. Thanks for the post

  2. November 28, 2009 at 3:37 am

    As a Christian fiction writer, I struggle to endow my characters with outrageously sinful natures! I’m learning to do this to make them more believable to my readers (in this sinful world, don’t ask me how that’s a problem) because I also love books with happy endings; immoral characters always wind up with a lot of baggage to carry with them into the sunset of the novel. Regardless, if happy endings are your forte’ as they are mine, I humbly must recommend my own little world of Birch Falls, Virginia in the innocent 40’s as antidote to the harsh realities of the twenty-first century.

    • December 12, 2009 at 9:51 am

      If you want to send me a free copy, I would be glad to read it and do a review on my blog for you? ? Have not had time to look you up on the web yet.

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