Faith in Fiction Saturday: Diversity in Christian Fiction
I have been watching My Friend Amy’s Faith in Fiction posts for several weeks now and just have not had the time to participate but told her last week that this would be the week that I would start.
Do you think Christian fiction represents a diverse range of belief, Christian experience, skin color, and nationality? Have you ever read a book and realized you hadn’t read anything quite like it in Christian fiction before? Have you ever wished an author would take a different point of view? Do you think that avid readers of Christian fiction are open to more diversity in Christian fiction? What are some stand-out examples of books that represent diversity in Christian fiction?
By reading her post this morning and then searching my book shelves, I find that her response about the lack of Christian authors of other nationalities is few and far between to be true. In fact, I was surprised to look through my wide variety of books to come back with a Christian Author of another nationality for this post…. and I came up empty handed. (Read Amy’s post she mentions a couple authors here who I have not read but sound like they have great reads that I would love to try.)
This sort of shocked me as I guess, when I am choosing a Christian Fiction read I have never paid attention to what nationality the author was, I just assumed that there were many represented in what I have read. This is not true.
When we talk diversity in Christian Fiction I think back to three books I read several years ago by a Christian Author who I just loved and found to be so real, Randall Arthur.
The three books are Jordan’s Crossing, Brotherhood of Betrayal, and Wisdom Hunter. For me, at the time of reading, Randall had such a fresh perspective on Christian Fiction that I had not experienced before. These books each have a powerful message about the enslaving hypocrisy of legalistic Christianity.
Randall Arthurs books deal with tough topics like in Wisdom Hunter,
” Jason Faircloth is a pastor in a large and growing church. He is known as the general, and leads with power. Jason sees the world in black and white. That means some thing are absolutely wrong and other things are absolutely right. Jason believes God has shown him which ideas are which. He is so strict that he drives his teenage daughter to run away.
One day Jason’s world is turned upside down. He learns that his runaway daughter died after just delivering a baby. Jason’s daughter was married, and the father of the baby does not want Jason to see the baby; or know where they live. Jason’s wife goes into a deep depression after hearing the news, and dies shortly after.
Jason feels like he has no idea what to believe in anymore. He begins a nation wide search to find his granddaughter and discover what life is about. ”
When pastor John Rau, an avowed liberal, accepted a position with a European missions agency, his decision was not based on an opportunity to serve God, but on the monetary rewards the position would bring him. Shortly after his family’s arrival in Germany, Jordan’s priorities dramatically change. When his young son, Chase, is murdered, Jordan becomes obsessed with finding his son’s killers and delivering justice by his own hand.
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples,” Jesus said (John 13:35, NLT). Respected missionary pastor Clay McCain leaves his family and growing church in Sweden for a beautiful, wealthy woman. But the Christian community reacts cruelly – even to his innocent abandoned family… A Family Nightmare… Clay McCain, a high-profile American pastor serving in Stockholm, Sweden, mysteriously disappears. Who can his wife, Rachel, and her three young children turn to for help? Her Swedish friends? Her home church in the United States? Her mission board? Her relatives? Rachel’s eventual outreach of trust, alongside a shocking discovery, sets off an unexpected avalanche of betrayal that turns her world, her family, and her faith upside down.
Randall Arthur served as a Missionary in Europe for twenty-two years. He and his wife Sherri, worked as Church planters in Germany and Norway before returning to the US in 1998.
I love that he touched on many subjects that are not easy to discuss in Christian fiction when the reality is, these are import topics.
There are many great Christian Fiction authors and reads out there and I tend to like the ones that really press the tough issues that are a reality in our world.