1. I remember being in an online group where the moderator of said group made a very sweeping generalization that African American Christian books/romances (since we were talking about romances) were ‘too secular’. Of course, a bunch of us African American authors who do write Christian romances were more than a bit peeved, but in the spirit of sisterly love, left it alone besides a few who took strong issue with that. But I definitely remembered being highly ticked off.

    It’s the same with Christian spec fiction, which I am a huge supporter of, and how people say such and such isn’t Christian because of XYZ. Really? Really?

    Yeah, totally felt you on this post although I love romance!  🙂

    • My wife has read some Christian-authored romances that had little about them that was “Christian.” I don’t mean lack of Bible verses or lack of altar calls. I mean any unique themes that distinguish Christianity from general platitudes that, say, exalt the value of familial or romantic love. She said some books are plainly titillating, using “no sex” as a substitute for “sex.”

      That would require proof that a book is “necessary,” if that book has been marketed as “here’s a Christian Alternative to what ‘the world’ offers.”

      However, that’s a far cry from requiring that someone prove an entire genre — each and every book and/or author and/or publisher included — justify its existence. The presumption, without proof, is that some other type of book or genre is the “default” and a fiction genre like romance is a deviant.

      The other presumption may be that “Christian subculture” is itself harmful or sinful. That’s a presumption I have begun to challenge. It seems to be tied in with complaints about the very things Christ calls His people to do.

      • Some are like that, that’s for sure.  I’ve been accused of that in my own romances by fellow authors but I put it down to a personal tolerance level and move on.

        I hate when people do what you’re saying though. Can’t wait till the show! Yippee!

  2. “Any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under cover of romance without their knowing it.” (C. S. Lewis, 9 August 1939, in The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis.)

    I write Christian romance because it reflects the way God draws us to Himself–the push, the pull, the yielding (hopefully). God is the one who invites the symbolism of Christ being the groom and the Church being the bride. Christianity is based on a relationship with God, not brute-force adherence to an arbitrary set of rules.

    And if a Christian lady wants a light, entertaining read with a happy ending from a Christian point of view, well, that’s just fine, too.

    • And if a Christian lady wants a light, entertaining read with a happy ending from a Christian point of view, well, that’s just fine, too.


      My guess is that some folks would find this highly unspiritual. Perhaps in the back of the mind exists a suspicion that we have better things to do. Meaning “better things to do” all the time. Why read a book when you should be feeding the hungry? But then such critics take time away from feeding the hungry to write blog posts on that subject.

      Moreover, this is not how the Bible approaches either the subject of God’s-creativity-reflecting culture, including popular novels and genres that are accessible to people, or the subject of glorifying God in all our actions.

      • Bonnie Blythe says:

        I’ve gone around and around with that issue too, and really still don’t know where I come down on it philosophically. But I love to read, and love to write, and despite any lack in my skill level–the desire to write IS a gift from the Lord. Being able to express myself through my chosen genre for light entertainment in a culture where entertainment is a saturated thing may not be the end all. But maybe it’s practice in communicating truths that will go on to have an impact in the ‘real world.’ Paul said he was all things to all people so that some might be saved. I know my first steps toward the Lord were via a Christian comic book, and I’ve had many readers tell me how my books have encouraged and ministered to them. That helps the conundrum a little 🙂

  3. Alex Mellen says:

    I feel like some people would say the same about sci-fi and fantasy. Especially when you can’t see God easily in the world or a fantasy novel operates under a different religion. At least a romance novel can take place with Christians in the real world.

    If a Christian writer is deeply involved in a book genre, he/she will already be thinking through how their beliefs impact their thoughts and attitudes on that genre, and that should show in their writing.

What do you think?