Should Christian fiction always have a “conversion scene?”
I have been mulling over this thought for a few months because I read a blog stating emphatically that there is a place for all kinds of Christian fiction: from those heavy-laden with analogy to those that are simply devoid of graphic sex scenes.
These are the thoughts which keeps surfacing–should the two characters in a romance end up together? should there be a chase scene in an action/thriller? something hidden in a mystery?
As far as the “conversion scene,” they can be pretty hokey, especially when forced, or out of place. I don’t personally need one, but in “Christian” fiction, I do want to see some sort of spiritual growth in at least one character.
A good book has growth (of some sort) in the protagonist. A fear is conquered, justice served, a resolution of hope, whatever…if not, then it is technically a tragedy.
If there isn’t a spiritual element at all, why would it be classified as inspirational? Are we content to call it Christian simply because we have removed the erotic scenes, the descriptive murders and the cussing?
The blog I read suggested that the books which were not overtly-Christian had the opportunity to reach the lost, those who would not normally pick up a Christian book, if they weren’t too Christian.
I just read a book that would fit this classification. Cash Burn by Michael Berrier.
It was extremely well written, but ended in tragedy, without a single character experiencing any hope or finding a relationship with God. The reviews were still high, because of how it was written. But the Christians complained that it ended unsatisfactorily, and the non-Christians complained that it had this lame pastor in the middle–trying to convert the hero.
If you know of a Christian book which successfully placates both sides, mention it in the comments. If I feel it makes both sides happy–based on the reviews–I will send you a 10$ Starbucks card. If more than one book fulfill the requirements, I will randomly choose one to win the card.
So I guess a better question would be: “Is there a place for a tragedy in Christian fiction?”