by Bruce Hennigan
“The Da Vinci Code” has old over 30 million copies since it debuted in 2003. It has been translated into over 40 languages. Not too bad for a work of fiction that in its author’s own words are based completely on “facts”:
“FACT: All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”
No other recent work of fiction has stirred up as much controversy not only among Christian scholars but among secular historians. Christians quickly mounted an attack on the book citing the false nature of the “facts”.
But, here is the real question. Do we, as Christian authors, also stick to the “facts”? How accurately do we depict the historical, scientific, and philosophical foundation of our stories? Are we as guilty of twisting “facts” to fit our “message”? This problem is very evident in Christian Speculative Fiction.
The term speculative includes the various forms of fantasy, science fiction, and supernatural suspense or thriller. As Rebecca LuElla Miller of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blogtour puts it:
“Christian speculative fiction is written by a Christian, but not everything written by Christians qualifies as ‘Christian.’ Rather some element of the story needs to be distinctly connected with what it means to be Christian. Perhaps the characters are predominantly Christian. The plot might revolve around something distinctly Christian. Or the themes may relate in a specific way to the Christian faith.
And here is the point that separates Christian fiction, I believe, from all other fiction. Christian fiction speaks the truth about God. Other fiction can speak the truth about morals or the way the world works or what makes a person love or hate or live on the edge. Other fiction might be silent about God. Other fiction might speak a lie (though undoubtedly the author believes that what he’s written is true) about any of these things. Only Christian fiction speaks the truth about God.”
How can Christian authors be certain of the “facts”? After all, many people believe Christianity is a fantasy unto itself! The good news is there are rational, evidential foundation to the Christian faith. And, the even better news is that rather than undermining the Christian “worldview”, recent scientific reveal the fingerprint of God.
As well as being a published author, I am also an apologist, a defender of the Christian faith. The word “apologos” is the Greek word we find in 1 Peter 3:16 meaning to give evidence for Christianity. It was my journey into apologetics that inspired me to write “The Jonathan Steel Chronicles”. Each book features “facts” about the Christian faith as opposed to “myths” and “misconceptions” about our faith perpetuated by atheists and skeptics. These facts provide ample foundation for story. I don’t have to twist my facts to tell my story!
What does this mean for writers of Christian fiction? Whether or not you realize it, we are apologists. Our stories convey the message of the Christian faith in some form. We write from the point of view of the Christian worldview. Make sure you are well versed in the true, reliable “facts” of your story. Avail yourself of the many resources on Christian apologetics. On my website, www.12thdemon.com, there is a tab with many resources in apologetics. We should never be accused of twisting “facts” to fit our story!
Bruce Hennigan is a radiologist, a church dramatist, and a certified apologist. He co-authored “Conquering Depression” with B & H Publishing and an update will release in 2014. He is the author of three novels, “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye”, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” published by Realms Books and the upcoming “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos”.