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The Unsafe Christian Writer

“Maybe those of us in the church might get a better response if we took him off the cross more often and let him shoot hoops and laugh once in a while.” Jesus Junk: My Take on Christian Memorabilia

This little gem—or bijou, if you prefer—comes from Steve Case on the Youth Specialties website. He’s actually making an unusual case for the irreverent gimmicks like Jesus action figures and bracelets and coffee mugs with smiling saviors on them. I thought it made a good point. Changed my cynical perspective a little. But not too much—don’t worry.

Excellent submissions so far of unsafe Christian communications. Keep ’em coming! I’m going for at least one thing from everyone.

I met with a bunch of fellow editors from around town today to discuss, of all things, fiction. One of our number had just been to the Don Miller conference at Glen Eyrie and was depressed that he didn’t accept her proposal of marriage. Apparently, he gets that a lot, girls, sorry to burst your bubbles.

We talked about his new books, future things with NavPress, other books we’ve got in the works that “break the mold,” and all manner of other trivialities that just gear me up for the rest of the day so I can’t work. We talked about the revolution and complained about how slowly it’s coming about, how little really good books we’ve gotten to work on recently since our hands are tied by our respective programs, etc., blah-blah, sha-bup.

As conversations started splitting off, I mentioned to my friend how I’ve been getting the sense that this revolution is like any other. When it’s best, is just like love or a good diet. It comes on slowly as a completely transforming life-change, almost so you barely even feel it, until time passes and one day, you stop and catch yourself in the mirror and you suddenly realize—you’re old! No. You realize the change has happened. And you thought it never would.

I met Greg Wolfe at the last Glen conference in Santa Fe and bought his wife’s book, The Unveiling. I read it quickly and loved it. She turned me on to Time Traveler’s Wife and other literary/popular books that really don’t seem to know which camp they’re in. It’s been an amazing year, book-wise, to see all that’s coming out, sticking its neck out, risking things to show us the view from the top of the wave in CBA. It’s inspiring and, I think you’ll agree, about time.

And finally, I think I should go ahead and speak for all editors to say to you, thank you. It’s only possible if we work together to hone the craft, keep abreast of the gradual changes, and learn about this big industry together. I’m very grateful to you all.

Bring me those great unsafe writers!

2 Responses to “The Unsafe Christian Writer”

  1. Jim Thompson says:

    Maybe if Christian Writing Rebels began using a term such as, “CBA Reformation,” rather than “revolution,” the stylistic conservatives would ship their guns and lower their battle-flag(excuse the tall ship references, I just watched MASTER AND COMMANDER). In a conservative church, “rebel” is a four-letter-word.”

  2. James Andrew Wilson says:

    If nobody was ever “unsafe”, we wouldn’t have electricity. Fiction should entertain, and it seems that society is entertained by the NEW and the BOLD and the DARING. I don’t sit down hoping to read a story that will introduce me to a character whose life is so peachy that the cover have fuzz on it. No. I sit down hoping to be sucked into a violent storm of a tale that will spin my nerves in unrelenting whirlwinds until, finally, I close the cover and take a breath of much needed air. When this happens, I have been taken. The story has risen above any carefully crafted sentence or Thesarus worthy word usage and sucked me into its world. Alas, many of the stale tales of today fail to even bait their hooks. But those rare and precious few who plunge the hook through the slimy worm and cast it into the deep, dark waters, are the ones that find the big fish. And a story worthy of the Classic Category.

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