I attended a writing workshop where one of the guest speakers was a successful Christian romance author with over two dozen books on her “published” shelf. Early in her presentation, this lady made a comment that went something like this:

“As an author of Christian fiction, I am not allowed to have profanity, alcohol, drugs, or sex in my books. However, I can kill as many people as I want. A lot of people die in my books,” she laughed.

Many readers do not realize that authors who write books in the “Christian” genre must follow strict formulas and rigid guidelines.

At a book event this past Saturday, a reader asked me if my fiction books would be classified as Christian. “No,” I answered, “my books do not fit the strict guidelines set by publishers of Christian fiction. For example, one of the main characters in Slow Sun Rising is rather profane.”

But I went on to explain that, Yes, actually, my books are Christian:  because I am a Christian, what I believe about God and about humanity necessarily permeates my writing.

I want the Gospel to be at the heart of everything I write, and the Gospel is about God giving life and forgiveness and hope to sinful, broken, profane people.

While it may meet guidelines for Christian fiction, a cleaned-up version of life provides opportunity for only a watered-down version of the Gospel.

As a writer, I do not want to tell a watered-down truth, or a half truth. I want to tell a whole truth. Jesus does not save “good” people:  Jesus saves sinners.

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