I’ve been reading some good fiction lately that is, ostensibly, Christian. The authors, at least, all say their books are “written from a Christian worldview.” As I’ve read, I’ve looked for what I consider necessary for that sort of statement to be true and come up mostly lacking. And it got me wondering about what people think when they see that statement.
To me, seeing “from a Christian worldview” doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be overtly Christian. (For the record, I’d say I write overtly Christian books that are also from a Biblical worldview. And maybe at some point I’ll suss out my thoughts on the difference between a Christian worldview and a Biblical one. They ought to be the same thing but…I feel like in today’s world they aren’t always.) I’m not looking for allegory necessarily either. So what am I looking for?
To me, a book that’s written from a Christian world view needs to have the following things:
- Good that triumphs over evil. (I generally like to see this in any fiction though, the good guys win, the bad guys lose. But it’s especially important in something that says it’s from a Christian worldview.)
- A single deity (God representative) and a clear difference between those who worship the deity and those who do not. For me, this deity needs to be male – I know some Christian authors who play around with female deity figures but that just…creeps across the line too much for me.
- The spiritual life of the people in the story needs to be part of the story in some way. If there’s no mention of a spiritual life (or deity) then I don’t know how you say it’s from any worldview at all. You can call it “clean” or “wholesome” but I don’t think you can say “Christian worldview.”
- Generally accepted Christian morals need to be presented as desirable traits and breaking with them shown with negative consequences. (Think the 10 Commandments here for a minimal start. I don’t think you need to get bogged down into doctrinal issues, but this goes back to good triumphing over evil and spiritual life mattering.)
That’s probably enough of a list. I will say some genres are going to have an easier time with this than others…except…I also can see how it would be easy to weave it in subtly in many genres other than what I write.
What do you think? Did I leave anything off the list that you think needs to be there? Or is there something on the list that you’d remove?