Christian Fiction or Evangelistic Fiction? — An Honest Appraisal for Thinking Christians
by James M. Becher
I wonder if most Christians realize the value of Evangelistic fiction in reaching the lost. I purposely use the term "Evangelistic fiction" and not "Christian fiction," as I feel there is a difference. Let me explain.
"Christian fiction" is fiction written by Christians for Christians, whereas "Evangelistic fiction" is meant primarily to reach the lost. Of course, some Christian fiction also could be used to plant seeds of curiosity or interest. Christian fiction may deal with themes like holding onto faith in the midst of difficult circumstances and seeing God work, while evangelistic fiction brings the reader face to face with the significance of Christ’s death and makes him face the fact that it was for him.
My published novels are primarily Evangelistic fiction, although they could be called Christian fiction as well, since they can serve as entertainment for Christians. My main purpose in writing them, however, was to reach unbelievers. Thus, some Christians may even find some things in them objectionable. For example, the non-Christian characters in my sci-fi novel sometimes use words like "dang." Well what can you expect from non-Christians? I tried to keep it acceptable while trying to get into the mind of the characters, as yet unsaved (until the end).
One character in my Biblical novel uses the word "confounded" although his wife rebukes him for it. There are also elements of romance in my Biblical novel ("God forbid"—that's one reaction I've had from some Christians.) Well as I said, I wasn't writing for you. I didn't intend to write lily white stories for pious Christians to enjoy, although—don't get me wrong—aside from the things I have already mentioned and perhaps the presence of a bar-room/brothel, my novels do make for good clean reading.
I write for God’s glory but primarily to reach the lost. My novels have not done well so far at all and I think the reason is that Christians have failed to get the idea. That friend you've been wanting to witness to but haven't found the words, that neighbor who you invited to Church but refused to go, that family member for you've been praying to come to Christ—Why not give them a work of evangelistic fiction as a gift?
It can serve as a sort of door opener or ice breaker to start them thinking along the lines of the gospel. They may even change their attitude toward the gospel just from reading the novel. Then, later you can follow up by asking them how they enjoyed it, what they thought, etc. Of course, it might be good if you would have read it also, just so you know what they would be talking about.
Of course, my novels are not the only evangelistic novels available today. In fact, I've listed quite a few others for your consideration in my slide show and my store (the link just above the slide show on my website. All I'm saying is that we Christians should consider using these kinds of tools in our evangelistic efforts.
About the Author
James M. Becher is a Seminary graduate, Bible teacher, writer, and author of four published novels—a two volume Biblical novel, American historical novel, and a purposeful Sci-Fi time travel novel. He is also the author of a self-help book, “Principles of the Kingdom, God’s Success Principles.”