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Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Christian" Fiction

July is off to a great start! So far FIVE people will receive a book: two of my books as well as Love Finds You in Calico, California by Elizabeth Ludwig and 2 copies of Crimson Cypher by Susan Page Davis. Continue to leave comments throughout the month to increase your chances of winning.

Also check out and for more information about my July release, Prodigal Patriot
. All week I'm a guest at

What makes a book Christian? Any other Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fans out there?

I read the trilogy five times before I turned eighteen. In college, I became "Gimli" to my own personal "Legolas" (you know who you are!) Better than that, Tolkien was a Christian! What could be more Christian than Frodo's self-sacrifice or the "Return of the King"?

Tell that to the people who sat behind me at the theater. They giggled at Gandalf's pipe. Of course he was smoking pot.

Tolkien certainly wrote a book with universal themes and appeal.

As a reader who dove into fiction as long as required reading for school ended, I have read much more secular books than Christian books. We'll forget the fact that Christians like Dorothy L. Sayers, P.D. James, Diane Mott Davidson as well as J.R.R. Tolkien were all Christians writing for the secular market (Christian fiction as such didn't exist for most of them).

So I'm reading a book by one of my very favorite authors: Rain Gods by James Lee Burke. His usual detectives, David Robicheaux and Billy Bob Holland, are both deeply flawed characters who nonetheless find their moral compass within the Roman Catholic tradition. The hero of Rain Gods, Hackleberry Holland, appears to be unchurched. But like all of Burke's books, I can see an exploration of Christian themes, although rarely are they couched in Christian terms.

Hackleberry keeps arresting an Indian seer for public drunkenness. Daniel tells Hackleberry about visions he's receiving from the rain gods. Most recently, he stood in the middle of the street, begging for people to pay attention. They didn't, of course.

"How come I got this gift? Just to be a wino in a white man's jail?"

"Think of it this way. Would you rather be sleeping overnight in my jailhouse or be one of those people who have no ears to hear?"

Do those two paragraphs resonate with you the way they resonate with me? All of God's warnings to those who have ears but do not hear?

Who are some of your favorite secular authors and what messages do they bring to life?


karenk said...

enjoyed reading your posting darlene :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kameko said...

I'm not sure who I would say my favorite secular author would be, but I do love reading "The Lord of the Rings!" I'm not sure how many times I've read the books now, but I never tire of reading J.R.R.'s wonderful words, the battles of good vs. evil, with good finally triumphing.