Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

Stranger Than Fact


Among the many places I write, one of the newest is over at Adventist Today‘s website. Adventist Today is an online and print publication geared towards promoting some of the more contemporary and progessive voices within the Adventist church, and I’ve had the honour of being asked to write a quarterly column for their online edition.  Appropriately for November (National Novel-Writing Month), I chose to write about being a reader and writer of fiction — a vocation still viewed with some suspicion in conservative Adventist circles, as it is in many conservative Christian communities. Even those who wouldn’t categorize fiction-reading as a “sin” often treat it as a guilty indulgence, frittering away time that could be better used on more “serious” reading and study. Not surprisingly, I argue for a very different view … you can read my column here.


8 thoughts on “Stranger Than Fact

  1. Skye Jethani asks a similar question but about film
    here which raises some other questions about how different types of Christians approach fiction.

    • Very interesting article, Andrew, thanks for the link. Quite apart from the whole question of the appropriateness of reading/writing fiction per se, which my column addresses, I think the question “why is (much) Christian fiction so bad?” could be asked, just as Jethani asks about film in that article. And I think there are a number of answers — there is great “fiction by Christians” being written, but very little of it is found with the “Christian fiction” label attached.

  2. From my European context I find the label “Christian fiction (or music/film)” a little strange- probably because we don’t seem to have a strong separate Christian sub-culture which views mainstream culture as threatening (although sadly this is beginning to change slowly). Instead Christians have historically played a role in contributing to mainstream art & culture.

    Personally I think that if we as Christians want to be part of our society we need to interact with its culture too, and not retreat to little “safe” ghettos; so your column is preaching to the choir!

    After the lesson this week a few of us were discussing how our church’s fear of fiction and story meant we were struggling to get to grips with the idea of reading the old testament as narrative- maybe a missed opportunity this quarter? The only one who seemed to be enjoying it was a humanities graduate and myself (I went to college to study literature and history before switching to ministerial training!)…

    Anyway, that’s enough from me- all this talk of literature is reminding me that when I finish the 60’s Bond thriller by my bed I need to finish that Shusako Endo novel I keep putting off! Thanks for the prompt!

  3. Hi Trudy– I was at my local ABC yesterday and saw your new book, The Wise Men. I’ve been looking for something to read with my counselee group (13 academy students I meet with M-Th mornings) and this looks like just the thing. I started it today and they seemed interested. I’m hoping to finish it by Christmas. Thought you might like to know =)

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