Post by journeyman on Mar 30, 2010 12:37:04 GMT -5
Check out yesterday's entry at noveljourney.blogspot.com. Columnist Mike Duran in Is "The Lord of the Rings" Christian Fiction? ultimately asks if Tolkien is not a Christian writer, have we too narrowly set our definition of what one has to write to be considered a Christian writer?
By the same coin, if a writer has Christian elements in his story and speaks of Christianity favorably, should the writer be considered a Christian writer?
I am thinking specifically of Cordwainer Smith, who did have Christian references in his work, but doesn't seem to be recoginzed as a Christian speculative fiction writer.
Well, personally, I don't care if an author is marketed as Christian, as long as he/she IS. Tolkien was most definitely a Christian, and I giggle at the fact that in this era where Christianity is hard to slip under the door of mainstream publishing, He and C. S. Lewis get full attention. Let him stay in the secular Fantasy/Sci Fi section, where unsaved people may pick up his books and be edified without knowing it.
*Chomp chomp* [br]What? Sorry...I didn't hear you. I was munching on a new book. [br]
Post by morganlbusse on Apr 1, 2010 8:29:45 GMT -5
There are Christian writers out there who write for the secular market. But just because they write for the secular market doesn't mean they themselves are not Christian. God has placed us in different places to reach different people. But I do think when an author is interviewed, they need to be who they are. Not saying that those who write to the secular market need to be overtly Christian, but they have an opportunity to be a light to the world.
I find it interesting at Stephenie Meyer's site (Twilight author) that she has a link to a mormon site if any of her readers are interested in finding out more about her religion. She certainly has not written a mormon book, but you see some of her morals and beliefs in her book.
"The book may or may not succeed. I wrote it for love, not money, but very often such books are the most successful, just as everything in the world that is born of true love has life in it, as nothing constructed for mercenary ends can ever have." L.M. Montgomery [br][br]www.morganlbusse.com[br][br]Daughter of Light, April 2012[br]Son of Truth, April 2013
Post by waldenwriter on Apr 1, 2010 17:01:05 GMT -5
Tolkien was definitely a Christian (in fact, I've read he had a hand in helping to convert Lewis), but I am glad that he has had mainstream success as well. I got into reading his books because of the Peter Jackson films coming out, and now I'm a Tolkien nut. So that's evidence.
The point brought up here though is an interesting one. I had firmly decided I was writing for the Christian market, since I felt that since God had given me my talent I should use it for his kingdom. But for some reason I bought the secular Writer's Market book as well as the Christian one and volunteered to write a regular column for a Pokémon news site (tied to a forum I am also part of and a podcast I listen to). So I am open to being published in the secular realm as well, subconsciously. I think at this point I just want to get my name out there, in any market. Since there are more sci-fi and fantasy novels being published in the secular market than the Christian market, I might have a better chance there, but it's hard to say.
Post by veryblessedmom on Apr 1, 2010 20:12:02 GMT -5
I am a Christian who writes and am quite certain that I am called to write for the secular market.
A Christian who is a banker would not be expected to only work at a Christian bank or to stop every transaction to share the gospel. But being a Christian should have an impact on what kind of banker he/she is. The same holds true for a writer who is a Christian.
I also believe that we Christians have the bad habit of just ministering to ourselves and then feeling super spiritual about it. We are like salt all gathered together in the shaker looking out over all that unsalted food with disgust. Then we look at how pure and white we are staying all clustered together and feel proud when we should feel ashamed b/c it's our fault it's not salty out there.
I'm called to help reintroduce salt to the world's salt-free diet. I'm like the greeter at church. I don't teach a lesson to the person walking in the door but I point them in the right direction.
I've always understood what makes a Christian writer isn't the result of his writing, but the foundation for it. Thus Tolkien is a Christian writer even though his fantasy pieces would not be accepted as "Christian" fiction. By the same token, just because Gene Roddenberry littered the Star Trek universe with scripture and Biblical references does not make him a Christian writer. This inherently frees a Christian to write from his spiritual convictions in either the secular market (telling a great story) or the CBA (where specific elements of Christianity are required.
I think we'd be rather shocked at the number of Christian writers who write regularly in the secular market who don't in the CBA. (and maybe vice versa -- case in point is Madeleine L'Engle. Although she isn't published by CBA, way too many Christian lump her in the same category as Lewis.)
How you look at the world depends on where you are.
Even in Jackson’s version of LOTR, you can see the Christian elements, particularly if you watch the extended version. Wow!
Lewis and Tolkien were friends. I did some research and discovered that fact. I found it very interesting and confirmed that T was a Christian. I just find it interesting that his work is very popular with secular readers.
I’m also one of those writers who write in the secular market. I also write Christian pieces as well, as most of my FFN followers could tell you. I intend to be in both markets since my mission field is SF fandom. You can read what I have to say about that under my thread Marketing for Writers.
I know of a number of Christian SF writers in the secular market and have heard what they’ve had to say about what they emphasize in their books. They’ve faced some unique challenges and have paved the road for those of us following behind them.
Post by This Baron of Mora on Dec 3, 2011 0:53:04 GMT -5
Even though this topic is a little old, being a new member, and as a big fan of Tolkien I believe I should add this that I came across in my research on worldbuilding several times:
Tolkien's religious philosophy of creation and sub-creation. In this philosophy, true creation is the exclusive province of God, and those who aspire to creation can only make echoes (good) or mockeries (evil) of truth. The sub-creation of works that echo the true creations of God is one way that mortals honour God. .....This philosophy is evident in Tolkien's other works, especially The Silmarillion — one Vala, Morgoth, creates the Orc race as a foul mockery of the elf. Another Vala, Aulë, creates the Dwarf race as an act of subcreation that honoured Eru Ilúvatar (The equivalent of God in Tolkien's writings), and which Eru accepted and made real, .......From a metanarrative viewpoint, Tolkien's Arda is itself a subcreation designed to honour the true stories of the real world. Thus, the Middle-earth legendarium, despite its lack of overt religious elements, can be interpreted as a profoundly religious work......Tolkien was compulsive in his writing, his revision, his desire for perfection in form and in the "reality" of his invented world, its languages, its chronologies, its existence.
Excerpted From: "Leaf by Niggle." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia. Web. 02 Dec. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf_by_Niggle>.
which I found to put it best, in this case concerning a work of Tolkien's, Leaf by Niggle.
“These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.”[br][br]-Chesterton[br][br][b][url=http://www.creeds.net/ancient/]The Apostle's Creed Link[/url][/b]
Several weeks ago, I came across a link to Tolkien's poem "Mythopoeia". I promptly printed out a copy and made my high school English teacher read it. I loved it so much that I printed out another copy and have kept it in my binder where I organize all my notes and drafts of papers.
I believe "Mythopoeia" was instrumental in Lewis's conversion (it's addressed to him), and it presents Tolkien's philosophy of sub-creation along with intriguing exploration of the human condition and the fallacies of secularism. I think this poem proves Tolkien's Christian worldview beyond a reasonable doubt.