1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kaci, Speculative Faith. Speculative Faith said: Does a CBA novel's "conversion arc" show weaker spiritual themes to Christians? @KaciHill on Spec-Faith: http://bit.ly/dtjhNq […]

  2. I don’t have a problem with a conversion in the CBA books I read as long as its authentic and a natural flow of the story (sorry, I hate the term “altar call”). I will say people can hate God one moment and then turn to him shortly after. That was me. I hated God. And then I found myself turning to him. To this day I would say God had finally had enough and grabbed me by my shirt and said this way 🙂 Thank God!

    Not everyone one’s conversions look the same. And sometimes when we share the gospel via CBA book, we are showing Christians what the gospel actually looks like (there are a lot of Christians out there who have now idea how to share their faith). Books can give “handles” to concepts Christians know intellectually but don’t know practically. Like grace. Grace is a concept. But by showing grace in a story, you put handles to the concept so people can understand it and go “Ah ha!”

    There are some Christian fiction books out there that did that for me.

    • Kaci Hill says:

      Phrase of convenience, I suppose. Like I said, I don’t really have a problem with them; I just think in literature they can get formulaic, and oft the reasoning behind their inclusion is some form of evangelism tool. That’s mostly why I widened the topic to CBA’s approach to the Non-Christian Reader–it seems to be the bigger issue. And I think writers just have a hard time conveying those things without it sounding like a sermon. It requires such precision.

      Anyway, thanks for the good thoughts – and the alternate response. Having grown up in church and been a Christian most of my life…I could just be jaded. 0=)

  3. Hey! No prob Kaci 🙂
    I know what you mean about some of those conversions being formulaic or forced into the story (read there, seen that lol).

    I agree with Stephen (“And while I’m on it, can we also not have so many stories that endlessly fixate on non-Christian characters, and push them toward making a Leap of Faith? I’d love to see more storytellers showing, not telling, how mature Christians — struggles and all — “best” (if that is a “best”) handle their life crises). I would love to see more of these kinds of books. Instead what I see most of the time are Christians in these novels whose only interaction with God seems to be when something bad is happening and they want rescued.

    • Kaci Hill says:

      If you’re brave, go read the novel “Heavens to Betsy.” 0=) It’s about a female pastor and includes much of the jaded church humor. Hilarious book.

      And you nailed it, amiga.

  4. Galadriel says:

    That’s an interesting question. I think a story can have meaning on multiple levels–for example, the Chronicles of Narnia can be seen by non-believers as an amusing story, by the curious as fable, or with deeper meaning by Christians.
    On the other hand, the difference between Outreach and Inreach should be seen too. My church uses Belong, Believe, Become, as a shorthand for our missions statement: We belong to each other and the community, then believe in Jesus, and become more like him

    • Kaci Hill says:

      Heya! No quarrel there. I try to stay out of the CBA discussions; this was just my general observation after listening to people talk for years. Thanks much!

What do you think?