My Thoughts on Fiction and Evangelism


Thank you to everyone who commented on my question about fiction and evangelism. And thank you even more for your honesty. I know it’s a difficult subject and there are some strong opinions on both sides of the argument.

Here’s my honest take: Fiction can be used as an evangelistic tool . . . and quite effectively. If the message is going to be overt, the writing and story better be stellar, though. Otherwise you risk making the reader feel tricked and losing him/her for good. On the other hand, if the message is covert, you’re putting the responsibility of interpreting that message in the hands of readers who understand, or at least who you hope understand. It’s a tricky thing.

So which is best? Well, that’s up to the author. As you can imagine and are probably already thinking there’s pros and cons with both.

Now, to deal with the area of should Christian fiction be used as an evangelistic tool. Again, here’s my honest thoughts. Christian fiction should be used to reach one of two audiences: Christians and non-Christians (pretty simple, huh?) either by encouraging/challenging Christians or by sharing hope and good news with non-Christians. Can it be used for purely entertaining purposes? Sure, but don’t call it Christian fiction then. Christians are supposed to be light and salt in the world. That means all we do should reflect Christ and His mission. And that includes our writing. Now, that doesn’t mean our fiction should be a sermon. Of course not. But it should have some redeeming value, some message that reaches beyond a teary eye or a good laugh.

If you’re a Christian and you’re writing God gave you both a desire and an ability to write. Doesn’t He deserve to have us use it to honor Him? Now, how far this whole thing goes with the message and redeeming value, how deep one wants to dive in that pool is, again, up to the author and his/her own writing abilities and convictions. But I have to consider this: after all Jesus did on the cross for me, after all my heavenly Father has done for me, after all the times I’ve failed Him and stumbled and feared and He’s comforted me, set me back on my feet, and patted my bottom, don’t I owe Him everything I have, including my writing?

Again, it’s a tricky business . . . and one that should be encountered with great care and much thought.

That’s my two cents.

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on November 14, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. A-men, Mike! A-men!!Kim

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  2. You nailed it. I came within a hair of posting some of what you said here, but others had already more or less said those same things – just with less clarity.As I said before, you nailed it. Know your audience and calling it Christian fiction if it’s entertainment doesn’t work.Great post. You’ve definitely got me coming back.

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  3. Susan J. Reinhardt

    Hi Mike -Your “two cents” is worth at least a $1.50. :)Great job.Blessings,Susan

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  4. I totally agree with you, Mike. I have nothing against entertaining fiction; stories are intrinsically entertaining anyhow. Nothing evil about that. But if we are believers (in fact, salt and light), are we not responsible to do more than just entertain? I personally believe so. I like to think of it this way. Imagine you were given a microphone and invited to speak to thousands of people. You know some of these folks but not most of them. Believers? Unbelievers? Who knows? Now imagine that this was perhaps your only shot at saying ANYTHING. What would you say? Just tell a fun, entertaining story and avoid “offending someone” with spiritual truth? OR tell a fun, entertaining story that presents some spiritual truth (not sermonizing) to challenge your audience and maybe, just maybe, make a difference for eternity? Personally, I’d choose the latter. Jesus wouldn’t have passed up that opportunity, and neither should we. But you’re right: it’s a tricky business, and it takes great skill to inject spiritual truth without annoying the reader. If some Christian authors want to write merely entertaining, clean novels, that’s their choice. (I agree, but don’t call it “Christian fiction.”) I personally think they are missing out on why God put us on this planet, but that’s between them and the Lord. Just my two cents. Good conversation. I’ve heard a lot of voices on the other side. Some even say they aren’t “Christian authors” but “authors who happen to be Christians.” Perhaps that would be another good topic. Just curious. Have you read any novels that you believe did a good job of presenting spiritual truth (other than your own)? Could you list a few? (By the way, I believe you did a terrific job of conveying spiritual truth in The Hunted.)

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