It’s dangerous to do this, because everyone has their own concept of what exactly designates a “spiritually-centered, authentic, creative, Christian writer,” but I think it would be good to try to get down what exactly it is we’re looking for that we’re not being supplied currently in CBA. I want to bring some stellar examples into the spotlight. I collect them. I’ve already nominated a few people here and in the sidebars, but I want to hear from others. Who have you come across, especially in fiction, who really stands out as a forerunner in authentic Christian writing? (A good place to start might be with the excellent list of novels on Dave Long’s Faith in Fiction site that “join in the conversation of faith.”)
I just thought of something my favorite film professor in college said—not to evoke images of Mr. Antolini in Catcher in the Rye, but—when I asked him why it seemed actors and film directors were always saying someone was brilliant or “wonderful to work with.” He leaned back in his chair, folded his hands over his generous belly: “Hollywood people don’t say anything negative about anyone they might have the opportunity to exploit someday.” I loved that. You see why he was my favorite. Ever since, I’ve never been able to watch the Golden Globes or Oscars without throwing up in my mouth a little.
Fact is, there are some people who are better at things than others. And without being unkind or critical, it’s useful to point out the writers we’ve found helpful in our journey. This will help us move toward a fuller definition of what we could call “forward-thinking faith writers.”
Let’s hear some nominations.