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Christian fiction edgy style

by Vanessa Grossett  
3/18/2015 / Writing


Recently there has been a new genre within the writing industry called edgy Christian fiction. To those who aren't aware of this new style, it is basically fiction that isn't sweet, rosy, and deals with sinful issues, which some may perceive as being touchy.

Now there are some readers, and publishers that aren't used to this type of writing, and are very dismissive of it. Which adds to my confusion, why am I confused? Well the Bible states all have sin and fallen short of the glory of God. 1 John 1:8 says 'If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.' That is why Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins.

Yes we are a new creation, but no we are not holier than thou. We have all had a past, which is why it is confusing, to be dismissive of fiction that portrays sinners saved by grace.

Author Parker J Cole boldly writes edgy Christian fiction. Upon interviewing her, I asked why she chose to write this genre.

'The current Christian fiction out there seems dull, boring, and unrealistic. This doesn't apply to every single book, but the majority of Christian fiction is very white washed, clean, and shows exemplary characters of sinners who sin 'a little'. This is not to say that we don't need those books, it's good to have a benchmark to aspire to, with the ultimate goal of being like Christ. However the state of the church, particularly in the west, proves this to be opposite. Churches contain people who lie, cheat, and steal. Cynics, skeptics, and seekers sing praises to God, and don't believe a word they're singing.

I believe edgy Christian fiction addresses this by using the imagination of the mind, with real-world accuracy. It shows saints who go through life far from the peace and wisdom of God, and find their way back to Him. Of course it would have been better if they'd never fallen at all, but we all know that isn't the case. We struggle with sin and our sinful nature till the day we die. From romances that deal with the aftermath of rape, murder mysteries of cynical, God-fearing detectives, or speculative fiction probing questions of the theistic constructs of a multiverse, this category of fiction reaches a wider range of readers, both sinner and saints.'

The second question I asked was, what has been the Christian community response.

'The Christian community is divided over the issue. Some feel writing edgy is just a way to push the envelope. Their concern is not unfounded, as I have seen Christian authors put blatant sex scenes in books, and say this is what they prayed about. Whereas I disagree with that stance (after all, what would make their story any different from an erotica novel, showing the character prayed about something after they had sex in the elevator). Most edgy romances allow sexual tension to be shown with a behind closed door approach. Others choose to have stronger sexual content. That's just the romance category, and yes there is a cause for concern that some authors are simply pushing the envelope to get readers.

An author friend of mine, Ben Wolf, wrote a story about a vampire who gets saved. What a brilliant concept! Imagine showing the darkest of creatures accepting the Lord Jesus as his Savior. Some Christians would be repelled by such an idea. It's demonic or just flat out weird. And what is a Christian doing writing about vampires anyway? They miss the point the author is trying to make -- is there a heart so dark that God's love can't reach it?

Christians need to understand, Christian fiction isn't just about feeling good. It's about using the gift that God gave us to explore our imaginations all for His glory. And if that's considered edgy, so be it.'

Well said Parker, fiction isn't about feeling good; it is about the gift God gave us to explore our imaginations all for His glory.

Throughout the Bible we read about people in their sinful state, yet we don't consider this to be edgy. Then why should we consider fiction that portrays reality edgy? Isn't it portraying people in their sinful state, yet showing that only God can help them? No Brethren this isn't edgy Christian fiction, this is reality Christian fiction. Yes all things must be done in moderation, and yes we shouldn't abuse God's grace. But let us not be dismissive of fiction that shows humans being humans. Otherwise if we were all sinless then we wouldn't need a Saviour.

I'll leave you with scripture 'Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.' James 5:16.

Parker J Cole is the author of The Other Man, and Many Strange Women. Her books are available on online major retailers such as Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00I3GGSTU/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1426358953&sr=8-1&keywords=many+strange+women+parker+j+cole&pi=AC_SY200_QL40

http://www.amazon.com/Other-Man-Sins-Flesh-Book-ebook/dp/B00PSGEKFW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426282842&sr=8-1&keywords=parker+J+Cole

Vanessa Grossett is a Literary Agent, and contributing writer for multi award winning Keep The Faith Magazine. She is also Outstanding Business Woman Finalist of 2017, visit www.theauthorscare.co.uk

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