When I Discovered Christian Fiction

I first ventured into Christian fiction with good love stories of faith and strong family support through the characters. I started with Janette Oke and her Love Comes Softly series. Then proceeded to read through most or all of her catalogue. It was the first time I read about inspirational stories in historical fiction.

I quickly enjoyed the stories of the Canadian praire. It was all new to me. It was like a mixture of western, romance and faith.

Then I started researching more Christian novels, and came across Dee Henderson and her suspense fiction.

Suspense rather scared me, and I needed to finish those novels to feel safe. Crazy.

I knew it was fiction, but I got so wrapped up in the suspense, I had to find it end successfully.

After Dee Henderson. I moved to Beverly Lewis, and she introduced me to those Amish romances. I was hooked.

Being an avid reader all my life, I was confused with Christian fiction. But when I started learning about Christian fiction more, the Christian readers that I came across seemed more selective, and preachier.

I am confused with the genre. Bottom line, it should be all about the story. On the other hand, I am not a fan of erotica. So when Facebook friends were reading 50 Shades of Grey, I couldn’t. Just because it’s popular, doesn’t make it a good read – besides, reading about sexual escapades is not my type of entertainment. I enjoy Harry Potter and the Twilight series. I am into the Hunger Games and I enjoy a lot of Young Adult fiction too.

My question is what is the deal with Christian as being an entirely different genre. It seems to be similar with music. There is mainstream music, then a Christian version. For example, Christian rap?

I know Christian entertainment will tend to be categorized as more wholesome, avoiding “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” but where is the line drawn or is it? An example in this is when I started reading fiction by Melody Carlson.

I followed several of her teen series, and quite enjoyed them. One particular was the True Color series, which dealt with edgier topics like rape, drugs, pregnancy and the occult – all infused with faith and strong family support.

What am I trying to undertand here? I suppose it isn’t criticism really that adding Christian to a genre makes it squeaky clean. I have read novels that tackle tough subjects but seen in the light of faith and godly values. However, can a Christian novel be filled with vulgarity and still be considered a novel with good Christian values? Sometimes the Christian label is a label itself or is it a literary genre with another point of view?

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