Some readers don't understand what Christian fiction is or ask, "Why don't Christian fantasy or science fiction books just fall under the categories of fantasy or science fiction?"
I'm often asked, "What makes your books Christian Fiction?"
It's a great question, and I'm here to shed light on it.
To clarify, not all of my books are labeled as Christian fiction, but there are exceptions—my best-selling Sheena Meyer series falls under the middle grade or young adult Christian fiction category.
The best way to clarify what Christian Fiction is would be to provide some examples. Out of curiosity, I asked an AI chatbot this question, and to my surprise, it ended up listing most of the examples I had in mind, almost as if the app could read my thoughts.
The following works typically incorporate various elements that define Christian fantasy/science fiction:
Allegorical Elements: Christian fantasy frequently employs allegory, where characters, events, or settings symbolically represent Christian themes or theological concepts. These allegorical elements can be subtle or overt. Example: The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis is one of the most famous examples of Christian fantasy. The series features a fictional world, Narnia, where Aslan, the lion, takes on many Christ-like traits. The stories explore themes of redemption, sacrifice, and faith.
Christian Morality and Values: Christian fantasy often emphasizes Christian moral values and virtues, such as love, forgiveness, courage, and self-sacrifice, in the development of its characters and plot. Example: The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson is a Christian fantasy series that follows the adventures of three children in a world filled with fantastical creatures. The series explores themes of identity, redemption, and the power of community while incorporating Christian values.
Spiritual Themes: Christian fantasy may delve into spiritual themes, including the battle between good and evil, the role of faith, and the search for meaning and purpose in a supernatural context. Example: The Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson is a Christian fantasy series that explores themes of spiritual warfare, the hero's journey, and the battle between darkness and light.
Divine Intervention: Christian fantasy often involves divine or supernatural elements, such as angels, demons, miracles, and divine guidance, which play a significant role in the story's development. Example: The Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker combines elements of Christian theology with a fantasy world where supernatural forces influence the characters' choices and destinies.
The closest to the themes of my Sheena Meyer series: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle is a classic work of children's literature that is often discussed in the context of Christian fantasy due to its exploration of spiritual and philosophical themes, despite not being overtly marketed as a Christian book. Here's how A Wrinkle in Time fits into the Christian fantasy genre: Christian Themes: The novel delves into themes such as the battle between light and darkness, the power of love, the importance of individuality, and the idea that there is a higher purpose to life. These themes align with Christian values and ideas. Allegorical Elements: The novel incorporates Christian allegorical elements, with the three celestial beings, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, often seen as representing angelic or divine figures. The concept of a cosmic struggle between good and evil is central to the story. Spiritual and Moral Lessons: The novel imparts moral and spiritual lessons to its readers. The characters' journeys involve making choices based on love and goodness, which are consistent with Christian ethics. Christian Author's Influence: Madeleine L'Engle, the author, was a devout Christian, and her faith influenced her writing. While she did not set out to write overtly Christian books, her Christian worldview is evident in her writing. Christian Readership: The book has found a readership among Christians who appreciate its exploration of faith-related themes and values. While A Wrinkle in Time contains Christian elements, it is not a strict allegory like C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. Instead, it offers a thought-provoking and imaginative story with spiritual and philosophical undertones that resonate with many readers, regardless of their religious beliefs. This ambiguity and broad appeal have contributed to its enduring popularity.
If you've read my Sheena Meyer series, have you noticed the Christian elements woven into the narrative?
Some readers are drawn to Christian fiction precisely because of these themes. They appreciate the focus on Christian values, the exploration of spiritual concepts, and the moral lessons embedded in the stories. Additionally, Christian fiction often offers a cleaner reading experience with minimal violence, although this can vary depending on the specific series or book.
So, if you're looking for your next read in the Christian Fiction category, I hope this insight helps guide your choice and ensures an enjoyable reading experience.
L. B. Anne