Miscellany

I found an interesting, if outdated, article at World Magazine today, talking about the state of Christian fiction. It gives a very good overview of where Christians have been regarding literature and where many of us hope it is headed. It does discuss the now defunct WestBow press, which I thought was way cool, but is supposedly still functioning as a part of Thomas Nelson. We shall see.

Next, I have a request. Have any of you Blogger blokes updated your templates through New Blogger to use the layouts? I tried to do this once and it seemed to bugger up everything, so I pulled a Monty Python, cried “Run away!” and bagged it.

If you have updated your template, was it easy to use? Worth it? Would you please share your feedback with me? I am looking at updating the look of ye ol’ blog, and would appreciate any suggestions of help. Thanks in advance!!

Miscellany

I found an interesting, if outdated, article at World Magazine today, talking about the state of Christian fiction. It gives a very good overview of where Christians have been regarding literature and where many of us hope it is headed. It does discuss the now defunct WestBow press, which I thought was way cool, but is supposedly still functioning as a part of Thomas Nelson. We shall see.

Next, I have a request. Have any of you Blogger blokes updated your templates through New Blogger to use the layouts? I tried to do this once and it seemed to bugger up everything, so I pulled a Monty Python, cried “Run away!” and bagged it.

If you have updated your template, was it easy to use? Worth it? Would you please share your feedback with me? I am looking at updating the look of ye ol’ blog, and would appreciate any suggestions of help. Thanks in advance!!

Christian Fiction Mash-Ups

On Brandilyn Collins’ blog recently she posted a list of CBA best-sellers and commented on the fact that Amish/Mennonite stories continue to be popular reads in the CBA. That got me thinking…

*collective groan throughout cyberspace*

…what if we had some of the best and brightest in Christian fiction trade genres with each other?

Ted Dekker writing his version of a prairie romance.

Lori Wick writing Peretti style spiritual warfare.

Rene Gutteridge taking a page from Robert Liparulo.

Brandilyn taking on chick-lit a la Kristin Billerbeck. (Whoops, already done. See 4/10, 4/11, 4/12)

Anyone else have any unique parings that would make for an interesting read?

Christian Fiction Mash-Ups

On Brandilyn Collins’ blog recently she posted a list of CBA best-sellers and commented on the fact that Amish/Mennonite stories continue to be popular reads in the CBA. That got me thinking…

*collective groan throughout cyberspace*

…what if we had some of the best and brightest in Christian fiction trade genres with each other?

Ted Dekker writing his version of a prairie romance.

Lori Wick writing Peretti style spiritual warfare.

Rene Gutteridge taking a page from Robert Liparulo.

Brandilyn taking on chick-lit a la Kristin Billerbeck. (Whoops, already done. See 4/10, 4/11, 4/12)

Anyone else have any unique parings that would make for an interesting read?

Return to the Marketplace

I posted a seven day discussion on the Christian Marketplace (convenient links: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7) and thought I was done with it for a while. Well, not quite.

Basically, I wanted to add a little balance to what I said. Last week I was reading in my devotional time when I came across this passage, 1 Corinthians 10:23-33.

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake—the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

I made the plea for freedom for the Christian artist to produce the kind of art that they feel led to produce, whether it was overtly religious or not. I still believe and stand by that, but this passage both supports what I was saying yet provides a little balance to my screed.

Everything is permissible, but should we ask what is the value of it. Obviously Christians shouldn’t make godly erotica, but I do believe that what we create should be “constructive”. What does that entail? Well, I think each sincere Christian artist needs to come to their own conclusion about that. One suggestion I would have is: there should be an overall building up in what we do. There’s a whole lot I could say on this, but that may be for another post.

Art has value in and of itself, and I want to see Christians produce the best music, the best fiction, the best of everything–because we have the great Creator as our inspiration, muse, and guide. However, we need to see if what we are doing is complying with this admonition from Paul: All should be done for the glory of God…For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they might be saved.

Return to the Marketplace

I posted a seven day discussion on the Christian Marketplace (convenient links: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7) and thought I was done with it for a while. Well, not quite.

Basically, I wanted to add a little balance to what I said. Last week I was reading in my devotional time when I came across this passage, 1 Corinthians 10:23-33.

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake—the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

I made the plea for freedom for the Christian artist to produce the kind of art that they feel led to produce, whether it was overtly religious or not. I still believe and stand by that, but this passage both supports what I was saying yet provides a little balance to my screed.

Everything is permissible, but should we ask what is the value of it. Obviously Christians shouldn’t make godly erotica, but I do believe that what we create should be “constructive”. What does that entail? Well, I think each sincere Christian artist needs to come to their own conclusion about that. One suggestion I would have is: there should be an overall building up in what we do. There’s a whole lot I could say on this, but that may be for another post.

Art has value in and of itself, and I want to see Christians produce the best music, the best fiction, the best of everything–because we have the great Creator as our inspiration, muse, and guide. However, we need to see if what we are doing is complying with this admonition from Paul: All should be done for the glory of God…For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they might be saved.

Review – Snitch

Okay, I missed my review post when I said – holiday weekends with family can kind of clobber the best blogging plans. But don’t take my tardiness for disinterest, for if you like a laugh at all, you don’t want to miss Snitch.

This is the second of the Occupational Hazards series, following the kids from a homeschooled family who leave the family clown business when their parents died in a tragic hot-tubbing accident. This book focuses on Mackenzie “Mack” Hazard, a police officer from Las Vegas who had an appearance in the first book, Scoop.

She is chosen for a special undercover task force involving stolen vehicles, though this decision is questioned by the aging head of the task force, Ron Yeager.

His task is to train this rag-tag bunch of officers into a unit able to bring down this crime ring. He may have lots of experience, but nothing prepared him for Jesse, his hotshot maverick; Dozer, the loveable narcoleptic; Wiz, who likes to visit the bathroom; Mack, who wears her faith like “an ever-present badge”; and the mysterious Kyle. The stakes get higher as the team must learn to trust one another to even survive.

This sounds like your typical crime/suspense novel. It is, but then again it is anything but. Gutteridge is perhaps the funniest author currently writing Christian novels. The story moves along and draws you in, but it is the zany cast of characters and the zig-zag journey the author takes you on that makes this book sparkle. I have an hour bus commute to work one-way, and I had to stifle many laughs so I wouldn’t draw the stares of my fellow passengers. The book was a great read – my only complaint is that I was drawn in so much that I am already finished! I’m not ready for it to be over. Gutteridge has an original voice and talent with keeping you guessing that you don’t feel like you’re reading – you feel like you’re along for the ride of a real-life sitcom.

Basically, Rene is one of my favorite authors now, and her books are worthwhile for great humor and stellar writing. Be sure to check out both books from the series!

Review – Snitch

Okay, I missed my review post when I said – holiday weekends with family can kind of clobber the best blogging plans. But don’t take my tardiness for disinterest, for if you like a laugh at all, you don’t want to miss Snitch.

This is the second of the Occupational Hazards series, following the kids from a homeschooled family who leave the family clown business when their parents died in a tragic hot-tubbing accident. This book focuses on Mackenzie “Mack” Hazard, a police officer from Las Vegas who had an appearance in the first book, Scoop.

She is chosen for a special undercover task force involving stolen vehicles, though this decision is questioned by the aging head of the task force, Ron Yeager.

His task is to train this rag-tag bunch of officers into a unit able to bring down this crime ring. He may have lots of experience, but nothing prepared him for Jesse, his hotshot maverick; Dozer, the loveable narcoleptic; Wiz, who likes to visit the bathroom; Mack, who wears her faith like “an ever-present badge”; and the mysterious Kyle. The stakes get higher as the team must learn to trust one another to even survive.

This sounds like your typical crime/suspense novel. It is, but then again it is anything but. Gutteridge is perhaps the funniest author currently writing Christian novels. The story moves along and draws you in, but it is the zany cast of characters and the zig-zag journey the author takes you on that makes this book sparkle. I have an hour bus commute to work one-way, and I had to stifle many laughs so I wouldn’t draw the stares of my fellow passengers. The book was a great read – my only complaint is that I was drawn in so much that I am already finished! I’m not ready for it to be over. Gutteridge has an original voice and talent with keeping you guessing that you don’t feel like you’re reading – you feel like you’re along for the ride of a real-life sitcom.

Basically, Rene is one of my favorite authors now, and her books are worthwhile for great humor and stellar writing. Be sure to check out both books from the series!