If you ask fiction authors if they have an agenda when they write, many will answer, “I want to tell a good story.” If you ask for amplification, they might further explain with something like, “to touch lives” or “to make them think” or “to create a memorable experience” or simply “to entertain”.
If you ask Christian fiction authors the same question, the answers will only vary slightly. Words or phrases such as “redemptive” or “glorifying God in story” might be used to illustrate intentions or motives.
The common denominator will probably be a denial they actually possess an agenda other than to write a good story which amounts to saying “to entertain”.
My position is, admitted or not, storytellers execute an agenda. This possible factor has produced major criticism of Christian fiction using the accusation to degrade the general genre. However, this same complaint can be used equally for secular fiction where the worldview – whether political, moral, or scientific – permeates the literature. Agendas, when noted and recognized, can be subtle or obvious. Perhaps it’s the obvious, in-your-face agendas that either irritate or gratify some readers.
The typical CBA reader is not offended by the obvious when it involves a story emphasizing the spiritual. The atypical Christian reader prefers the uncommon stories which organically include spiritual issues but don’t parade them in doctrinal displays with churchy settings, words, and preaching. Although there’s an audience for both kinds of stories, CBA primarily features those that are the more obvious.
I’ll be honest. I write my fiction with an agenda. Specifically, my agenda is to contrast the world’s view of romance, love, and sex to God’s view of the same. This requires each to be portrayed honestly. Sometimes that honesty isn’t welcomed in the typical CBA readers’ world. And that’s okay. For me, it’s a matter of inserting reality in a truthful way into stories. So, yes, I write with an agenda.
Will you admit you write with an agenda? Or not?
Nicole writes love stories with a passion . . . and a little rebellion. Raw Romantic Redemptive
Visit her at hopeofglory.typepad.com.