Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Change Me or Change Them

There is a huge difference between a book that will change the reader’s life and one that the reader believes will change the lives of other people. At times, they may be one and the same, but consider the book that changes your life. You read through the book and by the time you reach the end you feel guilty or motivated or you view something differently than you have in the past. If it truly changes your life for the better, you might suggest that your friends read it. And consider the book you believe will change the lives of people you know. You read the book and see similarities between a character and some of your acquaintances. You begin to believe that if these acquaintances would read the book then they would see the error of their ways and make a change in their lives. You get on and send them a copy.

It seems to me that a lot of the Christian novels are written with the intent to be the kind of book that people believe will change the lives of other people. I think this is particularly true of authors writing Edgy Christian Fiction. One belief is that we should write fiction that appeals to the world if we’re going to reach the world with fiction. Right away that tells us that we’re writing outside of our platform. Assuming that we can target Christians with our marketing and we’re writing to non-Christians then what we’re hoping will happen is that Christians will encourage their non-Christian friends to read our work so that it will change their lives.

While our intentions to may be good in trying to change others, we are more likely to have an impact on the lives of the people we can actually reach with our writing. But if the people we can reach are Christians, then why do they need to change? Therein lies a potential problem. Writers are hesitant to call for change within the Christian community because it may require that they change their own lives. The things that other Christians are doing wrong are things that the writers are doing wrong as well. It is so much easier to point our finger at the lost world and talk of how wrong they are than to examine ourselves and identify what we are doing wrong.