Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CSFF Blog Tour: Tuck Day Two

One of the reasons why I enjoyed Tuck by Stephen Lawhead so much was because of the different perspectives we were given. And no, I'm not talking writing craft, points of view here. Instead, I'm speaking of the different spiritual perspectives that arose throughout the trilogy. For example, you have the very earthy faith of Angharad. You have the different monastic architecture between Abbot Hugo, who prefers expensive stone chapels, and the Welsh abbot (whose name escapes me), who oversees one made of rough wood. And, of course, there's the scene where Friar Tuck hides in a Ffreinc chapel, only to marvel at the fact that they have an actual confessional in there.

It was refreshing to me, at least, because it presented the very familiar Christian faith from new perspectives. For example, I wasn't all that comfortable (at first), when in Hood, Angharad was presented as basically a Christian druid. I worried that Lawhead had gone too far. But as I realized that Angharad was a good Christian, just one from a different tradition than mine, I could relax and enjoy the new perspective.

This is something that I think is sadly lacking in Christian fiction right now. I don't know about you, but I've noticed that in most Christian fiction, the main characters all belong to the same homogenized, generic, non-denominational churches. I've even heard rumors that publishers won't let characters be different denominations because they're worried that readers will somehow be "offended" if a character is a different denomination than they are, so no character can be any denomination.

That's just silly to me. What about us readers who do belong to a particular denomination? Should I be offended by the fact that I can't find any books that are written with Lutheran characters? (And yes, I know there are exceptions, but from where I'm sitting, those seem few and far between.) Maybe I'm being a little silly, but this has been bugging me for a while. Give us readers a bit more credit please.

Besides, like I said earlier, it's great to get a new perspective on things. We can often do that through fiction, by seeing things through a new character's eyes. Wouldn't it be great if we could see more Angharads and Tucks in Christian fiction? Wouldn't it be great if we could take a look at the faith through new theological perspectives?

Maybe I'm just dreaming, but it's a good dream as far as I'm concerned.

Go and see what the other tourists have to say:

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Grace Bridges
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Terri Main
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John Ottinger
Epic Rat
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson


Phyllis Wheeler said...

You make a good point. Writers should be free and able to portray a variety of Christian points of view. Lawhead, being successful, has the freedom to do this. But do others? I hope so!

Valerie Comer said...

It's true that *any* denomination often ends up being bland in fiction. I enjoyed your comparison of the various types of abbeys in Lawhead's story.

Nissa Annakindt said...

I've read the instruction in a couple of how-to-write-christian-fiction books, that instead of Faith Baptist Church, make it just Faith Church. To which I respond, Oh, then instead of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, it should just be Our Lady of Lourdes Church, right?

I personally wouldn't mind Christian fiction in which various Christian perspectives can be represented. But I would imagine that there are quite a number of habitual readers of Christian fiction that might be offended by Christian fiction that included, say, a character who prayed the rosary, or even characters who believed in infant baptism if they themselves belonged to a church which didn't practice that. And I suppose as a Christian I need to be charitable towards people like that since they just feel they are standing up for the truth....

John said...

That is a valid point about the other Christians who might be offended. But I still come at this from a reverse perspective. I do belong to a church that practices infant baptism. And yet I've never seen one in any Christian fiction. Shall I be offended then? ;)