The world likes to put people in boxes. We like genres and categories. They help us identify who belongs where. More importantly, labeling things helps us know where we belong. In this seemingly hap hazard world we inhabit, giving things a name provides us comfort. It’s a principle that goes back to the most ancient of times.
Writing is hard enough without trying to fit into a niche created by a marketing guru simply to sell books. After all, writers, like all craftsmen, must remain true to themselves. Doing otherwise would be practicing in bad faith.
So what does it mean to be a Christian writer?
Is a Christian writer someone who writes stories involving Christian characters living in Christian environment doing Christian things? Or does being a Christian writer refer to your craft being influenced by your particular worldview?
What kind of stories to Christian writers tell? Is it okay for a Christian writer to write stories that don’t have a religious theme or undertone? Does being a Christian writer mean that anything you write is seen through the lens of your worldview? Are Christian writers free to write about the same subjects that non-Christian writers write about?
Yes…there are lots of questions.
Personally, I have come to believe that being a Christian writer means that I write stories from a Christian perspective. My characters may not all be believers. My stories may not all take place in a religious setting. Being true to myself as an artist means not separating what I believe from what I create.
Although I am free to write about anything, as a Christian it is important that I choose wisely and avoid writing stories that might discredit my witness or that might defame the glory of God. Our Creator instilled the very talent in me that I aim to use. It is up to me, like with all things He provides, to steward that gift well, ultimately to bring Him glory.
At the end of the day, the stories I tell are not my own, but ones that He intends for me to tell, for the edification and equipping of the saints and for proclaiming the Gospel with a lost and fallen world.
I think that’s what it means to be a Christian writer—my worldview informs my craft. It’s not simply a marketing tag putting me in a box; instead, it is what gives my writing purpose and direction.
How about you? How does your worldview impact your craft?
This world isn’t as hap hazard as we may perceive it to be.