Defending the Faith through Fiction

Unless you’ve been living in your basement these past few years, you
may have noticed that the world grows increasingly hostile to those of us of
the Christian faith. This should come as no surprise. Jesus makes it clear in
His Word that troubles will come to us. Though we’re not persecuted as harshly
as our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, our Western culture has made it
clear that we are barely tolerated at best.

What does this mean to the Christian writer?
First, we must, now more than ever, become well versed in scripture.
But not only in our daily readings, we must truly yearn to understand it.
Critics are quick to point out the “cruelty” of the Old Testament God or
the ridiculous claims of Revelations. To anyone who does not understand the
cultures of the time or the figurative language used throughout the Bible, you
will be hard pressed to defend your faith.
Second, we must guard against the many false teachers and prophets
within our own ranks. And they do abound. Mostly because the teachers
themselves do not make a careful study of scripture or are simply using the
Gospel as a source of profit. We can no longer ignore these folks, as they are
the ones that get the most press in an unbelieving world. Those of us who love
God’s Word enough to frame our fiction around it, when we could enjoy a much more
profitable lifestyle in the secular market, should be the first to stand up to
anyone who would do damage to our faith.
Finally, we must become masters in the science of apologetics. No,
really, you can do it. We don’t need to take the stage and debate popular
atheists, but we should be able to formulate arguments well enough that they
grow naturally in the dialogue of our characters. If you’ve accomplished step
#1 in my post, then you only need to apply a little logic to it. Among your
to-be-read pile should be a few of the classic apologists, like C.S. Lewis, and
some of the more recent defenders of our faith, like Frank Turek. Frank and
others even have plenty of videos, should your eyes grow tired of the Kindle
screen.

Some of you are writing to encourage other Christians, and some are
hoping to reach the lost. Either category requires that you are well-versed and
capable of defending your faith. Even a Christian reading a Christian novel can
glean from your character’s mastery of apologetics! As for the lost, while
hitting them hard with the Roman Road isn’t normally the best way to gain a
foothold, a small suggestion about the origin of the universe may inspire them
to think, to open their minds to ideas that they’d never contemplated before.
I’ve heard that readers of fiction learn more facts through their reading than
they do in a classroom. I believe it. For some of us, it is simply the way our
minds work. We were the weirdoes who preferred the story problems.
Yes, we have so much to do, so much to read and write. I feel your
pain. But our first calling is as Christians, and that has never meant making a
statement of faith and then getting back to business. We must grow in our faith
and our knowledge. Otherwise, we’ll continued to be swept to the gutter in our
post-Christian world.