Know Jack #276 The Monster We Love to Hate
I read a magazine article on Google news the other day that caught my attention. Google News—the name alone says worlds about the point of view of the author, veracity of material, and the information’s place in the cosmos. Those things notwithstanding, I read it because it dealt with a subject dear to me, Christian fiction.
As a rule, though I am a Christian and a writer, I don’t write Christian fiction. This is not to say my writing is devoid of Christian influence and principle. It means, for the most part, that my Christianity is not an “in your face” style.
In most things having to do with humans, there are exceptions to every rule. My newest book, Redemption, is my exception to the usual. The storyline is unapologetically about the Christian idea of personal redemption. The belief in a new birth that produces a new creature is at the core of my personal belief.
This brings me to my mention of the news article. Its politically correct message concerned Christian fiction. Highlighted were trends in historical romance and its many romantic cousins written for women. The author of the article encouraged more YA (young adult—teenage) fiction about the trials and tribulations of growing up Christian.
Nothing wrong with either focus. Where I part company with the author is at the point where adult male fiction goes without mention. The reason for this is the current devaluing of masculinity. Homes don’t need fathers or men to provide an example to children.
My book went through a few changes along this line before it came to life. It was too split between male and female interest, too violent for women and kids, too much romance and not enough romance. Just who would be our target audience sent it back and forth in the editing process.
I am happy that something for Christian men emerged. We deserve a voice that demonstrates our courageous devotion to duty, tenderness of heart that allows for both romance and compassion for others, and confrontation with our weaknesses and strengths. We deserve this not because we are men or are underrepresented in the genre. We deserve it because—this is us! We have a story too. That story is as real, common, and valid as any other.
There are those today who believe that injustices of the past, real, and imagined, can only be set right by committing the same errors. It is sad to see that Christians have bought into this philosophy. Sad, but not surprising. The church has been too long in bed with pop culture, and so offers nothing more than the world that surrounds it.
Time to grow. Time to aspire to the prize of the high calling in Jesus rather than sink to the lowest common denominator of humanity. We will not do this until every person is valued.