Join CFRB on Yahoo

DVD Review

I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

For more you can go here:

To purchase a copy try these links:
Barnes & Noble

May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Obstacles Unique to Christian Writing

Obstacles Unique to Christian Writing
by David Brollier

Since this is going to be basically a rant, I thought I better stick my name on it instead of getting the lot of us in trouble. Still, I find that even those cozy writers who have found ways to placate the Christian Booksellers Association, better known as CBA, struggle with some things that really have me stymied. Their pressure on the different Christian outlets puts pressure on the Christian publishers, who in turn amp up the pressure for the writer.

Here's the problem in a nutshell. As a writer, any writer, Christian or otherwise, the important thing is to be as realistic as possible so the story is believable. Unfortunately that means, for many of us, the usage of some words we would rather not use. That may sound like a breath of fresh air to some of you, but it is very difficult to write a story with a main character who is not a Christian yet talks cleaner than a parish priest out of the 50s in some small town.

Take for instance my main character, Detective Nat Adams. Although a Christian he still struggles with his temper. Day in and day out he deals with a world that is so horrific that most of us wouldn't want to deal with it. What say we thank God for our local police force right here. Anyway, in getting my manuscript ready for publication I sent it out to an editor. She had a lot of good things to add, had many great suggestions and caught a host of my mistakes, but then she came upon the following sentence, "Gosh I miss the City", I said feebly trying to get my foot out of my mouth. Nothing wrong with that sentence, right? Well according to her I really messed up. I was informed that the Christian market would not look favorably on my use of the word "Gosh". That bugged me a little, but I could get over it. It was what she suggested that got under my skin. She actually suggested I use "Horse feathers". Is this for real?

Please, understand I am in no way knocking the editor, because they are only reflecting the climate of a group of people who don't have a clue about what it takes to create a story, make it believable, and struggle to keep it clean. I've read some of the Christian publishers' submission guidelines and substitute words for profanity, particularly with reference to Jesus and God, will assure a swift rejection.

In another place in my story a non-Christian says, "Shoot, I don't know what I'd do under similar circumstances." In this case I was told to "Giver her a different fave word or an action."

I am not in favor of using the publishing company or my gift as a writer as an excuse to spout out profanity at the drop of a hat, but give me some give the character some credit. You know that she wouldn't say "Shoot" any more than Nat would say "Horse feathers". Some of you who know me may have an idea of what words I wanted to use, and did not. The problem is that Christian publishers are so fixated on this that they can't allow some creativity. Okay, that's a generalization. Some authors get away with stuff I can only dream of if I'm to be published by a Christian publisher. Most, however, must sanitize their work to the point of oblivion.

So I guess I'm letting off steam and directing this at the publishers and those wonderful people in the CBA. Non-Christians, by and large, are going to use profanity, and should be allowed to do so in at least a limited sense in Christian fiction. Even Christians have the occasional slip of the tongue. Why do you think James spent all that effort on chapter 3 in his letter? Yes, the tongue is a fire ignited by the very fires of Hell. I just used a "swear" word here, but don't write me off. Here's what James wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." James 3:6 (KJV)

Even the Bible is somewhat sanitized. No wonder we have some people out there preaching a candy-coated gospel. Paul says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Gal. 1:8. The word for accursed here is anathema, which means to ban, excommunicate or curse. The Song of Solomon would definitely qualify as erotic literature, even back then, and more so today.

My point is, allow us to show our characters as people really are. There should be a difference between Christians and non-Christians, and largely it can be seen in the way we speak, and I'm not talking about Christians going out and preaching. I'm talking about how a Christian can find something other than a cuss word to say when things go wrong...most of the time. We are still a work in progress. Non-Christians, well, they don't have access to the power to keep them from sinning so we shouldn't expect them to live up to God's standards. We should let Jesus live in us so brilliantly that He is the example they wish to copy. At that point we can tell them that it "is not by strength, nor by power, but by My Spirit," that we can even in a limited sense live up to God's standards. Yet at the same time He accepts us, not on our own merit, but on the merit of Jesus who is the only One who kept the commandments perfectly. He is our righteousness. We find our life in Him. How can we let the world know of this great love if we can't create characters they will believe? We have our characters saying things like "horse feathers" and the world laughs at us. That's fine and dandy as far as that goes, but in the middle of their laughing they've just missed the truth and love and mercy we were trying to get them to see.

If Satan blinds the eyes of those who wish to see the Truth, then why is it these religious people are helping him put the blinders on these people? Makes me wonder. Am I frustrated? You bet I am. Yet I will trust God to see me through. If I say something overly crass, something that He did not intend for me to say, I take full responsibility for that. I do make mistakes. Just ask my wife or my kids. However, there are those times when a foul, but colorful word may just be what is needed for someone to take the story seriously...and that, my friend, is the whole point. If I were writing to make a living perhaps I would turn out cookie-cutter, sanitized works, but I don't write for that. I write because I believe in the power of words, especially God's Word and that He wishes to reach out to everyone and draw them into His love.

I write to reach people, and I'm not the only one. I can make a list of some fairly famous Christian authors who are also struggling with these obstacles. Here's the real kicker...the obstacle doesn't belong there. We have to power to remove it, even if it does mean keeping an unsavory word in our works. After all, don't we all really appreciate the bright sunshine after a long dark night? Imagine a world where there is no darkness. That's the kind of world Christian publishers and the CBA would have us create. It's coming, but it isn't here yet.

No comments:

Pageviews past week