The complaint is often made that “Christian” novels, SF/F ones included, are too full of conversion scenes. As believers, it’s only natural that we like conversion scenes, to a certain extent—they remind us of our own experience, even help us keep our own fresh by seeing how others make their journey to belief in Christ.
Are conversions becoming too common? Or is it that the ones we read in popular Christian fiction made common because belief comes too “easy” … and we know that in real life, easy belief is sometimes no belief at all.
It’s my thought that it takes more than a conversion scene to make a Christian novel. For a while now I’ve been contemplating the shift in my perceptions about what is acceptable to me as a Christian and what is not. I realized slowly that it’s more than the absence of “bad” language, excessive violence, and explicit sexual content—as I’ve tried to explain with some frustration to one film company that strives to be family friendly, but still retains other elements that I find less-than-wonderful.
That isn’t to say that I don’t find much objectionable content—objectionable. But I’ve learned to look beyond it in certain works, to find the redemptive.
I looked up the meaning of the word:
redemptive – Serving or tending to redeem; redeeming; as, the redemptive work of Christ.
redemption – the act of purchasing back something previously sold; (Christianity) the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil
So … a comprehensive definition of redemptive could be something that delivers from sin or saves from evil.
I’ve already touched on how what one person sees as redemptive might not be what another does, but it has been an eye-opening experience to consciously look for the redemptive in various things I watch and read, rather than focus on the “ick.” And isn’t that the essence of Philippians 4:8, focusing on the true and honorable and virtuous?
Of course, that probably isn’t news to longtime SF/F, but it was a neat, new way to view things, for me.
Later, I hope to visit particular films or books and look at what I found redemptive about them.