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What Does the Christian Book Market Need?

Discussion in 'The Writers Guild' started by Stancet, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. afishamongmany

    afishamongmany Oldbie

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    Hi Eryk,
    What Spurgeon says is very pertinent to the OP and things said in the thread. I wholly agree with him in as far as he is talking about the ministry of The Church and a right understanding of evangelisation and conversion of unbelievers. But :)
    Are we (you, he, me) then saying that Christians should not be giving any of their time or talents to artistic endeavours? I think of the arts primarily as a way of communicating rather than entertaining but is 'entertaining' necessarily out of bounds for a Christian? Entertaining is certainly not the same thing as evangelisation and indeed many many Christians do blur and mix them up. But creative expression, is it not part and parcel of being a human being even after being born again and translated from The Kingdom of Darkness into The Kingdom of Light?
    What do you think?
    ><>

     
  2. Eryk

    Eryk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is very well said. We should be able do all these things unto the glory of God.

    What made me hunt down the Spurgeon quote is the well documented fact that Biblical illiteracy is a real problem in Evangelicalism. We've got the novels and the movies and so on. But we still have this problem. If people are spurning the Bible for books that are more entertaining, it will only weaken our life and witness.
     
  3. afishamongmany

    afishamongmany Oldbie

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    Hello Kerensa,
    C.H. Spurgeon is a bit more than 'someone' ... 'from quite a long time ago'. :)
    He is someone well worth spending time with. Someone mightily used by God, as has been C.S. Lewis.
    The essence of what he says in "Feeding Sheep or Entertaining Goats" is as true now as it has ever been. The question that it should raise in God's people is, What is the on the ground, daily application of it for God's people?
    What do you think?
    Do you not think that 'biblical evangelisation' as something different and distinct from entertainment?
    Go well
    ><>
     
  4. CoolDude68

    CoolDude68 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I sent you a message. :wave:
     
  5. makeajoyfulnoise100

    makeajoyfulnoise100 Tea, books, and rainy days <3 Supporter

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    I'd read it! I have a space opera that's what I would consider very Christian based.
     
  6. Fedor

    Fedor New Member

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    Online gaming is the largest non-evangelized people group in the world.
    How about christian LitRPG (MMO-based virtual reality books)? Do you know any christian LitRPG?

    I have read lots of LitRPG books (Ready Player One, Play to Live, The Dark Messiah, The Way of the Shaman, The Knighthood and etc.). But i can't find any christian LitRPG...
    We need it. The future is for christian LitRPG!
     
  7. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I play Lord of the Rings Online because of my devotion to the Tolkien myth. When I first started playing it I realized that it would be a great discipleship tool if it were King of Kings Onliine instead. Such a game could teach through virtual experience how to pray, evangelize, have faith for the miraculous, repent, love and so much more.

    There are many, many Christians I meet online who play that game with me. There are also many pagans as well.
     
  8. Waddler

    Waddler Live a story worth telling well.

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    I'm opposed to evangelistic fiction as it is commonly presented. More Christian authors in the Christian market focus on spreading the Gospel than they do on telling a good story. They might as well give up fiction and write non-fiction books on theology. That's not all of them, thankfully...just the vast majority that get published.

    If you want to write fiction, tell a good story, first and foremost. For fiction, the Gospel message should come secondary to the story. Here's why:

    God calls us to do our best in our work. In whatever we do, if we do our best, we give Him glory whether we mention His name or not. For fiction, doing our best means putting the story ahead of all other agendas, including evangelism. I can tell when an author puts evangelism ahead of a good story, because somewhere along the way, they'll pause the lackluster story to present the Gospel.

    It's like putting a sermon in a novel. It alienates readers who feel they've been tricked into sitting for a story and they got a sermon instead. Also, the predominant audience for Christian fiction is Christians, so delivering the Gospel message is redundant. Evangelistic fiction is redundant.

    Non-evangelistic Christian fiction is rarer and slightly better, but suffers from a lack of realism based on authors' preconceived notions of sin. They think they'd be sinning to include characters who use foul language, who drink, who smoke, who (fill in the blank). Often, non-Christian characters are portrayed as stereotypes, stupid and miserable.

    If more Christian authors would write realistic characters in realistic (that is, believable) scenarios, Christian fiction would be able to compete with its secular counterparts. Ultimately, any author who doesn't put the story first and do the due diligence to tell the story well isn't doing the best they could do. "Christian" does not and should not necessarily mean "family friendly" or "devoid of harsh realities."
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  9. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    I have a brilliant online friend who terms himself an Agnostic......
    because that is what he is..... but he is off the scale well informed on
    so many topics that I tried my best to convince him to enter the USA
    Presidential race back in 2015.

    I quote him in the opening post in several discussions here...... . but it is his
    public statements related to the Middle East and his missions there that I believe could be worth
    millions of dollars in the hands of a skilled Christian screen play writer.


    He stated that he has been creating profiles for the CIA for decades and
    his level of being informed on so many topics..... causes me to take his claim
    very, very seriously!

    Pope Francis, President Trump, 4.3 Trillion Petro-Dollars and JUBILEE!


    This is him being quoted again on Theoretical Physics:

    The Philosophical implications of Multiverse Theory?

    Here he is again on the probable long term effects of climate change:

    Is this analysis of the probable long term effects of climate change logical?
     
  10. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    On that note I think that I should write you a personal message and give you some more specifics on what is on my mind at this time!
     
  11. Bluerose31

    Bluerose31 Christian Flower Supporter

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    More Christian fantasy books would be wonderful.
     
  12. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    Yes...... but I would so love to see Christian fantasy books
    based on Multiverse Theory and Ezekiel 37 happening again and again
    and again....... that set in motion ACTUAL solutions to problems that people
    are facing now in 2017 and on.

    For example, it is theoretically possible to move 900 or more Christian, Yazidi,
    Ba'hai and other minorities from Syria to here in Nova Scotia, Canada, based on
    the possibility of a re-do of 1939 when the M. S. St. Louis was turned away
    from our shores.

    So I am thinking about some of these books being turned into films.....
    that could be termed semi-reality science fiction....... and reality films at the same time.

    MS St. Louis - Wikipedia

    Another possibility would be to move 900 or so Falasha Jews to Nova Scotia based on a similar idea.......

    Multiverse Theory and multiple Ezekiel 37 type events.
     
  13. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    It is my belief that Messiah Yeshua - Jesus wishes to hand theoretically unlimited financing to His Bride.... the church!

    FDR and his team...... were somewhat pushed into initiating The New Deal... by ordinary Americans in over one thousand USA communities. I cover that in post #1 here.....

    North American churches should each have their own currency!


    Creativity...... that is inspired by the Holy Spirit can initiate the fulfillment of the principle of Jubilee at this time.
     
  14. Stancet

    Stancet Member

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    Could you please help me understand some of these theories behind this book idea?
     
  15. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    An important part of it is the prediction that 2017 would somehow be a Jubilee year. Rabbi Judah ben Samuel stated that 1917, 1967 and 2017 would be Jubilee years, and the events of the other two Jubilees were so important that I think he is right about this year as well.

    One way for the Bride of Messiah to rise up is for Christians to come together on the question of whether or not the predictions of Ezekiel chapters 40 - 48 need to happen literally. I believe that they do.... and once we come to that understanding.... we can view the Jerusalem Temple Mount as a stage on which some earth changing events work out.

    This is a controversial topic but I take the prediction of Eporu Ronald Alfred on this very serious:

    Do you believe a massive Holy Spirit tsunami is coming?

    ......
    If Mr. Eporu Ronald Alfred is correct.....
    and I believe that he is... then Christian support for the Jerusalem Ezekiel temple complex unleashes a Tsunami of the Holy Spirit...... that will soon even transform the nature of animals.

    Reverend Howard Storm's Near-Death Experience

     
  16. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    Genesis 11:6

    Ecclesiastes 10:19

    "A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things."

    There is a positive way to understand these scriptures in spite of the fact that the context was negative..... There are more Christians on earth now than the population of the world in the time of the building of the Tower of BAbel......
    if Christians and Jews come together in agreement on some important issues that concern both of our religions..... a paradigm shift will come to pass.

    A Christian Volunteerism Hour, serving as a prop in a series of films that unite Christians and Jews... could soon become an even more important reserve currency than the USA dollar.... (even though seventy percent of the money in the world is in US dollars at this time).

    Should Christians support Rebuilding of Jerusalem Third Temple.
     
  17. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I suppose I'd like to see a Science Fiction Trilogy, similar to CS Lewis' Space Trilogy, combined with aspects of Isaac Asimov's Empire and Foundation Trilogy. I'm not an SF fan these days, but at one stage i had a bit of a thing for it. Mind you I got a bit bored with the character Asimov styled "The Mule" in his second book. He just took up too much centre space in the story.

    It would have to be realistic in the scientific sense - no author could get away with using Venus and Mars these days in the way Lewis did in his Dr. Ransom trilogy, because these days we know too much.

    I suppose it would start with an earth in turmoil, move into space, starting probably with Mars, and finish up with a Galactic civilisation, into which the angelic realm intrudes.

    Somehow.
     
  18. Alistair_Wonderland

    Alistair_Wonderland Member

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    I would like to see some fantasy books which have Christian undertones, but aren't exclusively Christian or push Christianity like a battering ram. That way, unbelievers will be interested in reading it. A lot of unbelievers still love the Chronicles of Narnia, since it's an interesting story and not just a sermon. Also, the Shadowmancer series is one of the few actually interesting takes on a Christian book. I wouldn't quote it for spiritual accuracy, but it's an imaginative and interesting trilogy.

    I think too many Christian writers push the Christian stuff too hard, and chase away unbelievers, or even believers who have just had a bad experience with "churchy" people. (Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" is entering the kingdom of Heaven, after all.)

    Luckily, I'm writing my own fantasy series, aimed at a teen/tween market. It's fun, lighthearted, and has good messages, but I don't push the idea that "Here's Jesus, if you don't love him you're evil and going to Hell" like I've seen so many Christian fantasy books do. My take is subtle. I don't tell people "search for Jesus". I secretly guide them in his direction without ever telling them what I'm doing. A lot of people have been conditioned by the Devil to see the name of Jesus and God in a bad light, because of Satan's goons in the church who give Christianity a bad name. Those lost people can't take Jesus directly. They need to get to know him by a new name, a new identity, and learn to love Him for who he is, not just love a name or a religion. Jesus has had many names in many cultures, but they all mean Him.

    Also, why is it that so many Christian characters are bland? Sadly, you rarely see a Christian come up with somebody who isn't a stereotypical, bland person, or who doesn't become one when they become Christian. I have seen some crazy Christians, and they make life all the more interesting. There are Christian goths, and Christians who believe in alien abductions, and smart-mouthed Christians, and comical Christians, and Christians who dress up as Star Wars characters and engage in lightsaber duels. Sure, they may not all be the perfect image of God, but we all have our flaws. Take out the flaws, and the character becomes unrealistic. Besides, "boring" does not mean "righteous". God is an imaginative and fun-loving person. And he knows how to write interesting stories. Here are some of the things the Bible has that Christian writing rarely portrays properly:

    Apocalypse-torn world filled with fantasy creatures and zombies. (Revelations. Remember, "They shall seek death and not find it?" That's practically a zombie, dude.)

    Steamy romance. (Song of Solomon. Hey, when the couple is married, God encourages steamy stuff, and published it for all to read.)

    Adventurous battles and political intrigue more intense than Game of Thrones. (First and Second Kings. Seriously, if done accurately, a TV series of David's life would probably attract both believers and unbelievers alike, even if it would be a bit gritty.)

    Wizards (Any book of the Bible with a prophet in it. Those guys are practically wizards. And don't go telling me that it was God's power and not magic, because you could just as easily say that magic is utilizing supernatural power, and God is supernatural. Therefore, one could argue that God gives magic to his followers.)

    Dragons (Well, what else is Leviathan? It says he breathes fire, for crying out loud.)

    Superheroes (Sampson is practically a superhero.)

    Seriously, Christians have no excuse for their boring writing. God already wrote a book which outlines some great ideas for inspiration. Here's a rule of thumb: if nobody but a Christian would read it, odds are it isn't good. (This is for fantasy and fiction. Theology books and such are an entirely different category.)
     
  19. seekingmuch

    seekingmuch Active Member

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    To not be as boring as watching paint dry. It's the same reason most Christian movies suck. They are boring with really boring characters. Also, don't be preachy. The last Star Wars was preachy due to SJWs and it sucked.

    C.S. Lewis wasn't boring, or preachy.
     
  20. seekingmuch

    seekingmuch Active Member

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    I write Erotic Romance novels. I've definitely considered making a couple Christian, but their sex life is just as steamy as anyone else's, and it would have the Supernatural side. I just don't know if it would sell. But, I bet it would be called heresy, which I would most certainly love to use to sell it.

    You realize great lovemaking is supposed to be the purview of a Christian couple not the wicked.

    And, what about a Erotic Romance about Adam and Eve? Think about it. These two had to be the finest looking humans to ever walk the earth. What did Adam think when he first saw Eve? What did Eve think? Did they go on dates? LOL What did both think about love and sex? What was pregnancy like before the fall? We have no idea how long they lived in Eden. It could've been thousands and thousands of years. End it will the fall of both.

    The Bible has incest in it, Solomon's obsessions with his wives looks, Fallen angels having kids by the "daughters of men" (Goliath was probably the off spring of such a union), etc.

    What about David's obsession with Bathsheba? David saw something. He didn't know her. He saw her and fell in love (or lust). Hard one to tackle. Been done though.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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