Top 10 Tuesday: Why I Love Christian Fiction

7 Jun

Thanks so much to the folks at The Broke And The Bookish who week after week challenge bloggers to think, sometimes way outside the box. This week, bloggers are sharing the Top 10 Reasons They Love X. In my case, X is Christian fiction. To find out what other bloggers love, click HERE.

toptentuesday

When I saw this week’s theme it got me thinking. Just what do I love in my reading life? Genres, authors, settings, bookstores, etc. Well I came up with Christian Fiction. For the last 15+ years I have been reading Christian fiction almost exclusively. Oh sure, I read the occasional general market bestseller or even a non-fiction title, but the majority of my reading is spent in the pages of inspirational fiction. What happened years ago to bring me to the point now where my shelves are brimming with CBA titles? I was diagnosed with MS after a bout with optic neuritis. I temporarily lost the sight in my left eye and then a few months later had sight deficits in my right eye. For a committed bookworm, this was devastating. The loss was indeed temporary and though I need corrective lenses due to genetics and old age maturity, I can see pretty well. My new glasses are helping a lot too! As I faced a future of uncertainty regarding my health, I decided that time was too short to fill it with books that do not encourage or inform or entertain with God in mind. My blog’s subtitle is Reviews, Discussions, Etc. . . . All In The Light of God’s Word. As I state in my About page, I choose fiction based on Philippians 4:8 — books that explore what is noble, beautiful, right, lovely and pure. Although life as seen through a Christian worldview is often as ugly, gritty, or heartbreaking as through a secular worldview, the underlying message declares that there is redemption, hope and peace through Jesus. I have the added bonus that if my preacher comes to call, I don’t have to hide the books! 😉 Seriously, though, here are the reasons I Love Christian Fiction.

Top Reasons I Love Christian Fiction

No excuses, no hiding, no guilt. I jokingly said I don’t have to hide my books if my preacher should pay me a visit. He does live across the street so it could happen! But really it goes much deeper than that. Years ago I found myself engrossed with some Scottish time-jumping books. You know the ones. I was really into them; reading each book in the series in quick succession. Well, the content, for me, was inappropriate. I said for me. I am not judging anyone else’s book choices. I just know what my weaknesses are and so does God. So He has directed me away from books that fill my mind with images I just don’t need. Christian fiction generally has none of these pitfalls. I can enjoy great fiction without regrets!

Committed authors. I am sure that general market authors, some of them Christians, are committed to their writing craft. So are authors who write for the Christian market. I have also found, through interactions with these authors, they are committed to following the direction of God in their writing. They listen to what He says and then they try their best to communicate it through their books. I have found words aptly spoken, like apples of gold in settings of silver, that were meant just for me. Authors committed to God + committed to their craft = wonderful books for readers!

Genres galore. If it is a genre, you can find it in Christian fiction. I read everything, including cereal boxes, so I am thankful that Christian fiction has expanded over the years. Some may think that End Times or Amish are the only genres available, but I have found tons of books in many other genres. If you like light-hearted romance or deep literary fiction, or suspense, or horror (yes even horror), you can find great Christian fiction to fit the bill. Here are some examples:

Fantasy — A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr (book 1 in a fabulous series)

Mystery — Miranda Warning by Heather Gilbert

Romance — The Discovery by Dan Walsh

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Supernatural Suspense — The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

Legal Drama — Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer

Historical — The Girl from The Train by Irma Joubert

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Community. I love talking about books and I have found a great big group of others who do too. Locally, my book club, By The Book, has been discussing Christian fiction for almost 14 years. We meet every month to discuss a fiction title we have all read. We’ve learned so much about the world and ourselves in the course of reading Christian fiction. On the interwebs, I’ve also discovered a bunch of people who are passionate about reading Christian fiction — bloggers, authors and other devoted readers. If you are interested in what’s going on in the Christian book world or finding your next best read, then check out the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction FB Group.

Real life. Real stories. As I mentioned above, the books I read often have something just for me. It is rare that a book I read does not speak to something I am struggling with or an attitude I need to adjust or an insight into the world of another person. Sure Christian fiction is fiction, but when an author is following God’s leading, the stories they tell are real and relevant for their readers. One of my most recent reads was an historical novel set in a monastery in 14th century England. Relevant for today? Why, yes! Written specifically for me? I think so! Of course Jesus was the Master storyteller, and His people create in His image and produce stories that will speak to the heart of the reader. Whether I am riding the seas with a pirate, crossing the dessert on a camel or enjoying a small town visit, Christian fiction has a message for me. And please understand I am not talking about a sermon or an evangelistic tract, but a heart-warming or soul-touching tale that speaks truth while entertaining.

Well those are just 5 reasons to love Christian Fiction.

What are some of your reasons?

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19 Responses to “Top 10 Tuesday: Why I Love Christian Fiction”

  1. Carrie June 7, 2016 at 7:31 am #

    great list, Beckie!! I love your genre suggestions! That blog post I read (about why the person doesn’t read Christian fiction) said that there weren’t any subgenres – and that was when I really started to doubt her credibility lol.

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 7, 2016 at 8:24 am #

      I follow a blogger who is an avid reader and a Christian but will not read CF because it is lacking in excellence. She reads mostly classics so she doesn’t really compare CF with general market. I, of course, disagree with her. There are excellent books out there and I am glad to promote them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carrie June 7, 2016 at 8:26 am #

        Yes, exactly!!

        Like

  2. Suzanne Sellner June 7, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    As you so aptly stated, Christian fiction offers depth and breadth so that one can find his own niche within Christian fiction. I find that Christian fiction inspires me, gives me hope, and keeps me pointed toward God.

    Like

  3. Lillian @ Mom With a Reading Problem June 7, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    Great list! I love clean, christian romances. And the genres are definitely there. One of my favorite dystopians (Citizens of Logan Pond) is Christian fiction. Wonderful list 😀
    My TTT

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 7, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your list. I will be over at your blog later. 🙂 And thanks for your feedback on my post too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Barbara H. June 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    I am so glad to see this post! I always wince when Christians “slam” Christian fiction because they claim it is all written poorly. Sure, a bit of it is, but you could say that about any genre. I have read some great Christian authors.

    One of the biggest things I like about Christian fiction is that it portrays real life for a Christian. The best of secular fiction leaves out the element of seeking God and applying His Word to life. The protagonists usually have something to learn that has application for me as well.

    I wrote a post a while back on “Why Read Christian Fiction?” beginning with why read in the first place, then why read fiction, and then why read Christian fiction (https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/why-read-fiction-and-christian-fiction/).

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

      To say that CF is the only market with poor writers is a stretch isn’t it? 😉 And I agree, Barbara, that the application of God’s word is a big plus for CF. Thanks so much for sharing the link to your post.

      Like

    • Iola Goulton June 8, 2016 at 12:46 am #

      “One of the biggest things I like about Christian fiction is that it portrays real life for a Christian”

      Agreed! I sometimes read general market fiction, and I find myself getting irritated with the characters – can’t they see they’ll never be happy without God? Instead, they expect a mere man to fill that hole inside them – that hole we all know is meant for God and God alone.

      Like

      • rbclibrary June 8, 2016 at 5:30 am #

        Yes, yes Iola! My book club is discussing All The Light We Cannot See this month. It’s an incredible book, but I can’t help wondering what it would have been like if the characters had come to know God. Thanks for stopping by!

        Like

  5. jamielynne82 June 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    Great list! It’s been great to see the types of novels written in the past few years. Christian fiction has really grown in such incredible ways and makes me love it even more 🙂

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

      My first Christian fiction title was This Present Darkness. My next real foray into CF was the Left Behind series. (I never did finish that one.) The Mitford novels and Phillip Gulley’s Harmony series became favorites. It is amazing the leaps and bounds CF has taken.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. heatherdaygilbert June 7, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    Thank you so much for mentioning Miranda Warning, Beckie! I would just point out that it is currently free on ebook platforms. 😉 It is a different type of mystery because the main character is married, but that is why I have so much fun writing this series! Honored to be on your list!

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

      Ok, folks, here’s your chance to read a wonderful CF title! Free if you have an ereader. Even if it wasn’t free it still would be a good deal! Love Heather’s mysteries!

      Like

  7. courtney207 June 8, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    What a great post, Beckie! Especially your reasons for choosing CF in particular.

    My TTT post – about Period Dramas!

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

      Thanks, Courtney. I visited your blog yesterday, but didn’t leave a comment. It has been crazy around here and I have time only for in and outs! Thanks for stopping and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Got My Book June 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    Thanks for the list. I haven’t specifically sought out Christian Fiction for a number of years, but now that I am a (new) blogger I am becoming more conscious of the choices I make.

    My TTT list

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

      Isn’t blogging fun?! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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