"But here’s the funny part. Becoming a Christian actually made me less likely to use Christian symbolism and structures in my work because now I see Christ’s presence underlying all of life—I don’t have to place Him there artistically. Baptism made me more of a realist, more willing to let each character go his own way and tell his own story as he would. I’m a novelist, remember, not a preacher. I trust reality to express Christ’s presence, because I think that’s what it actually does."