Rise Of Contemporary Christian Novelist
- By: Michael Obrien
The Christian Novelist is a relatively new creature. For centuries there have been various writers who have spread the Christian word through writing. This new style- the Christian novel spreads the message of Christianity in a most interesting way through thematic design and allegory.
Since the novel became popular as a past time writers have strived to get their ideas and beliefs across to people through this medium. A lot of the most famous novelists of the 20th century used the setting in themes and settings to biblical stories as a basis for their novels. They pitted good Christian styled heroes against growing evil and a society of loosening morals. Some of the bigger names who use either the message or spiritual essence of Christianity included C. S Lewis, Jane Austen and J. R. R Tolkien.
Christian writing goes back much further than the 20th century of course but for this article we are going to focus on the writing since the inception of the novel as a vehicle for spreading ideas particularly the 20th century to the current era.
Church attendance has seen a steady decline, especially in western countries for a long time now. Some writers have seen this as a call to action and have used the writing of novels to reach those who no longer go to religious services. Heroes of these novels are placed in moral and ethical dilemmas and use their beliefs and virtues to overcome these.
Since the late 1970s conservative Christian writers, especially in North America, have begun to change the settings and styles of Christian novels to replicate what is happening in mainstream culture and book markets. They are using popular genres such as romance or thrillers in which to place their characters. This has proven to be a very popular way to reach younger generations of people for whom the Church may have no social impact. It is also a way to get their message out to people of other or no faiths without seeming dogmatic or preachy.
This is particularly evident in the rise of Urban Christian fiction. In this area the author sets the action in poor or ethnic areas where God is central to the characters lives despite the grimness that surrounds them. This movement has been especially prevalent in Latino and African cultures in the USA.
The rise in popularity of all genres of Christian novels has led to massive sales with some authors selling in excess of 20 million copies of some of their books. Many others have massive sales numbers that show how strong the market is for these books.
So if you have an interest in spreading the message of Christianity and you have the ability to write in any genre perhaps it is time that you became a Christian Novelist. Even if you don't achieve the sales figures mentioned above it will always be a great way for you to keep in touch with your own Christian morals and beliefs.
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