How Not to Write a ‘Christian’ Novel

Post It Note With Hardwritten College With Question Mark On Money.. Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 139271566.

Speaking of “Christian fiction,” I’ve decided to revisit one of the weirdest novels I’ve ever read in my life–Heaven Breaks In, by Nicholas Cappas.

All the action in the story takes place on a college campus. What planet it’s on, that’s what mystified me. This college is remarkable for its total lack of sex and drugs, protest movements, Far Left Crazy… It resembles a 1950s sitcom episode. I mean, really, what kind of college is this? How did it get to be immune to all the loony schiff going on at all the other colleges?

The students are weird, too. They all have gobs and gobs of spending money–which they spend on meals at posh restaurants. And clothes. What kind of 19-year-old male, who has a thousand bucks to spend, makes a beeline for the upscale men’s clothing store?

And then comes the crisis! Spring break is here. Does the protagonist go on a glamorous trip to the Bahamas with his friends, or a glamorous missionary trip to Kenya with his other friends?

Did you ever have to make that choice?

The preachy weirdness of this novel wows me more now than it did four years ago. In it, the angels are worried about saving this kid’s soul. From what? From football? How hard can it be to save a soul in an environment that’d be the envy of any monastery?

“Christian fiction” has to do better than this. Much, much better!

8 comments on “How Not to Write a ‘Christian’ Novel

  1. That’s an amazingly sad attempt to write a novel. I’ve always had a strong disdain for any sort of writing or teaching materials which somehow ignore reality. Even in Christian colleges, or in some Christian churches, there are things happening which a Christian should take exception to. Hopefully, there are far fewer temptations, but I suspect that even in Christian colleges, temptation exists.

    From what you describe, this book, or perhaps it’s author, are unacquainted with reality. College students, unless they spring from a very wealthy family, are unlikely to buy expensive clothes, or take expensive vacations. The problem is, sometimes young people read books like this and develop unrealistic expectations after reading things like this.

    1. P.S.–One thing I’ve never heard of is a sermon inspired by something in one of my books.
      One of my satires did that, but I’ll save that story for tomorrow.

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