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Topic: What makes it a Christian book?

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Subject: What makes it a Christian book?
Date Posted: 7/24/2007 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2005
Posts: 137
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I just got finished reading a book called One Fell Swoop by Virginia Boyd. It's an October release. It's by Thomas Nelson publishers, which to me means it should be a Christian book, right?

Well...this book had not one mention of God, Jesus, or salvation. The main storyline is about a wife who caught her husband cheating and kills him and herself. The novel is told in stories from the points of view of different people around the town.

I guess I want opinions from all of you...when you're reading a book that is supposedly a Christian book, what do you look for? What do you want included and not included?

Melissa

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 11/7/08 7:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/25/2007 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2006
Posts: 823
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Nelson has gone somewhat over to the "dark side." LOL. I think they were bought out by a non-Christian company, which may explain some things.

I feel like to be a Christian novel, the main character must either be a Christian or learn to follow Christ during the course of the novel, or at the very least be exposed to the Bible and Christian themes by other characters.

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2007
Posts: 23
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For me.... a Christian book must be a book that inspires or teaches.... not all Christian books mention God directly. Allegories are like that... but you can learn something valuable that will help you in your Christian walk. Same goes even for fiction.... you can learn so much from it. Personally, I was very disappointed with Thr3e by Ted Dekker.... there wasn't much there that I could find... or maybe it was just too over my head haha.

Anyway, my point... think of our Christian responsibilities.... glorifying God, spreading the Gospel, witnessing to the lost, and edifying, supporting and encouraging the believers.... in my opinion... ANYTHING that carries a Christian label better fit into one of those catergories.

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 140
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A christian book to me has some kind of insperation towards God.  Somone is either a Christian and has some struggles, but untimatly God is still there for them and they return, Or someone is very lost and through the course of the book they become a christian. The part I like mostly about christian fiction is that there are no curse words, no heavy gruesome murder seens, and no explicate sexual seens. All things that I think are not glorifying to God (In my Opinion). 

 

To the post above I love Ted Dekker as a Writer he has some awesome moral Godly themes in his books, but sometimes he is hard to follow. I just read Shadow by Ted Dekker and it had an awesome theme to follow the life and death of Christ,but the first 100 pages of the book were kinda of worthless.  The end was fabulous.

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 6,935
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I feel like to be a Christian novel, the main character must either be a Christian or learn to follow Christ during the course of the novel, or at the very least be exposed to the Bible and Christian themes by other characters.

Jessica said what I wanted to say!  :)  I like Christian fiction becuase it normally is more geared toward spiritual thoughts and discussions....they make me think and help me realize certain areas in my own life that could and possible need to change.

As a side note, I went and looked up the book the OP mentioned....it's listed on CBD.com as 'hilarious and poignant' and also has a nottation for 'sexual situations'.   Not my idea of a christian fiction book, either.  But I also just read a Kristen Heitzmann book that I thought was a little risky in the Christian department.  She was able to play both sides very well and show the evil that came through in the 'bad guy's part, but also there was alot ALOT of sexual tension and descriptions that were made between a couple of characters.  Plus, she used ONE word of cursing in the book.  Really shocked me.

Date Posted: 7/26/2007 2:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,783
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My idea of Christian fiction is nearer Crystal's.   Their belief in God has to show through IF it's mentioned directly or not.  I am reading the Zion Chronciles by Brode.   While Christian faith is mentioned, it's the WAY the lives are lived that shines through for me.  The people are not perfect - but Chrisitans struggling to do their best during very difficult times.   I think a life lived for Christ is a more powerful sermon that anything else.  This shows true in books as well as real life.   

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2005
Posts: 137
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Wow, thanks for all of the insightful posts here. I am still struggling with this one...my main problem I have is that I am supposed to be reviewing it for Romantic Times for the Inspirational (Christian) section. I feel like it is misleading to the people who look to that section for guidance for picking Christian books, but on the other hand, my editor will ask me if it's poorly written (which it isn't) if I give it a low rating. I am just going to have to e-mail the editor and discuss I guess. I tried to ask the question of the Thomas Nelson publicity person (Is it considered a Christian book) and didn't get a response.

Anyway, thanks so much for everyone's comments. It is quite fascinating to consider.

Melissa

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 11/7/08 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2007 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 476
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I agree with Julie.  When I buy a book for the church's library, I don't always have time to sit down and read the book.  I have been using the publisher to determine if the book is suitable - it sounds like I'm going to have to be more careful in the future.

Date Posted: 8/10/2007 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,618
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Thomas Nelson (and Tommy Nelson, their children's division) seem to be publishing a lot of books lately that walk a fine line between secular and Christian. We had a discussion on one of my Christian writer's groups not that long ago about whether or not certain CBA houses were publishing certain books just because the author was known to be a Christian. We also had a discussion that was quite interesting about whether or not Tommy Nelson would have published the Harry Potter books if Rowling's agent had approached them rather than Scholastic. And what difference would it have made in how the Christian community would have responded to the books.