Why Is Redemptive Fiction Important And Necessary? by David Bergsland
The topic of this post is an important one for Christian authors and readers alike, and not just for the Christian reader only. I pray it is an encouragement to Christian authors about why they write, and for them to not compromise the Gospel of Christ just to be accepted by publishing houses, booksellers, and readers or to ensure sales and author prestige.
David Bergsland (author, reviewer, and blogger) and three other reviewers (myself included) are now issuing Awards for authors who include redemptive themes in their novels. There are five awards and can be found here:
These awards are based on A Spiritual System for Rating Books written by David Bergsland (Click on the title for a free copy).
Why is redemptive fiction important & necessary?
So: why is redemptive fiction or better necessary to introduce large numbers of people to Jesus? The first and obvious answer is, the world!
bzzyaaht! Wrong answer!
The world cannot come to know Jesus, by definition. Biblically, the world (kosmos in the Greek) is the system developed by our Enemy (satan) to delude, confuse, enslave, and destroy mankind. In this day and age, he is having remarkable success in America—the USA specifically. Even more important to this blog (Reality Calling) and publishing house, we are seeing much direct evidence that the creep has made massive inroads into the church.
Massive numbers of church goers need to be saved. That is where my heart is. My goal is to work for the salvation of those who can still be touched among the religious. It’s a difficult call ministering to individuals in the Christian religion who have never heard the Gospel. We’re dealing with congregations where Scripture may be read, but it is rarely (if ever) explained as relevant.
Thousands of congregations and whole denominations refuse to allow the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is rarely given place in the “services”, Sunday school, or Bible studies. The result is millions of church goers who do not know Jesus personally, whose lives are completely blind to a new creature in the Messiah.
Many people are going to church for answers, but they are not finding any satisfaction. I know of people who have found the answers themselves in the Bible. They went to their pastor or priest for verification and were told they just didn’t understand the reality of these things. Several polls have told us that over half of the church CEOs (pastors and so on) have no personal relationship with Jesus. It’s just a prestigious job—at least it used to be that.
I know about these people, I was one.
Today, many devoutly religious men and women read trade pub “Christian” authors looking for religious comfort. But quite a few of these give up in disgust because there’s no Truth in the fiction from the so-called Christian bookstores.
What little fiction I’ve written is for them. It’s an attempt at a fun, realistic, entertaining read containing realistic Truth battling our true enemies. Bringing true spiritual reality into technothrillers and near future books is a great joy to me, and to my readers.
When I began reviewing books, I was deeply saddened and spiritually enraged by the pablum posing as books. The Spirit within compelled me to do something about this problem. So, I began offering reviews of the spiritual content of these books. I found that novels from Bethany, Harper-Collins, Thomas Nelson, and even Tyndale and Moody were rarely Christian. Most of them were what is euphemistically called clean reads. What they actually are is more of the non-spiritual garbage we get on TV and in the movies. They couldn’t be Christian because they had no savior. None of them ever had the Holy spirit working in the lives of the characters. The best I could hope for was speculative fiction about angels and demons which I knew wasn’t true because I had experience there.
My father was a serious, practicing exorcist and spiritual warfare was part of his daily ministry. He thoroughly trained me. Spiritual warfare has become an assumed part of the ministry of me and my wife—for over 40 years now.
Plus, many of these angel/demon stories were on an old testament level with no savior or Holy Spirit either. I started rating clean reads as 0ne-star and angel/demons or Old Testament level books as two-star on a spiritual scale going from one to five. Three-star is Christian religiosity with no salvation. Four-star has characters whose lives were transformed by meeting Jesus and who used the Bible as their standard. Five-star has characters who have given their lives into the complete control of the Lord and His Holy Spirit—what is commonly called spirit-filled living.
Amazingly to me, the Lord has been a blessing.
I thank you for your support! There aren’t many of us yet, but what growth we have had. I expect great things from the Lord as he leads us into a larger audience and useful fruitfulness.May He be pleased…
The Skilled Workman [technical blog]
Reality Calling [Redemptive Christian Book Review blog]
Hackberry Font Foundry [Being absorbed into The Skilled Workman]
Peter Younghusband has been an avid reader from as early as he can remember. Since becoming a Christian in his early 20s, his passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on his blog. He loves reading new author’s novels or authors who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.