Clean Christian Fiction Makes Sense

Clean Christian Fiction Makes Sense

It used to be that Christian readers could pick up a book (fiction or nonfiction) from most recognized “Christian” publishers and never think twice about coming across questionable or outright offensive content or language. This, unfortunately, is no longer the case, folks. And that’s why I sometimes like to remind readers and publishers of where I stand on the issue. As the years pass, I’m afraid it will only become more necessary to do so. Lest anyone question the accuracy of my claim about slipping standards, let me offer two examples to illustrate my point. In a desire to be kind and fair, I won’t mention the authors, book titles, or publishers. The first example is very recent. A recognized author of Christian nonfiction had a 99-cent Kindle sale of one of his books from one of the leading Christian publishers. I had heard good things about this author’s writings and…

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In Defense of Clean Speech in Christian Fiction, Part 10

In Defense of Clean Speech in Christian Fiction, Part 10

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9. Note: This installment deals with some specific crude words found in the King James Version of the Bible. Secondary Considerations: But Doesn’t God Use Vulgarities in the Bible? Some Christian authors who defend the use of mild cussing and/or vulgar words in Christian novels point to the Bible as their defense. Unbelievable as this may seem, they claim vulgar language appears in the Old Testament. And if God used vulgar language in His Word, they say, they have every right to use it in their novels. Here are just a couple of the Bible verses they cite: 2 Kings 18:27; and Malachi 2:1-3. Here I list the verses in question (quoted in the King James Version [KJV], the translation at the heart of the debate): But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to…

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In Defense of Clean Speech in Christian Fiction, Part 9

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8. Secondary Considerations: Romans 14:16 I began this series with the intention of sticking to Scripture for my main defense. That’s because Scripture is sufficient for every area of life (2 Peter 1:3)—I truly believe that. If something is just my opinion, I could be wrong. But God is never wrong. So what He says must be our foundation—our absolute—for all behavior. Though I’ve listed various Scriptures during our discussion, I recently realized I had left out a few key verses, and I would be remiss not to mention the important principles they teach in the context of our discussion. Let’s take a look at the first one. “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil” (Rom. 14:16 ESV).  As a theologian friend recently reminded me, “Context is king.” So let’s look at…

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Agent Terry Burns on Unclean Speech

I saw this great post and wanted to let my readers know about it. Recently, Christian agent Terry Burns said some great things about publishing that go right along with my series on clean speech. It’s great to hear other voices of reason participating in the discussion. Check out his article, “The Wrong Question.” Here’s a good quote: I know bad men use bad language and bad situations occur in real life, but I believe a good writer can show what they want whether it be someone cursing or other non-family-friendly content without actually using the words or showing the action in a graphic manner. And if done well I don’t believe it dilutes the power of the scene. But it does take better writing skills. . . . Never mind what the publisher will or won’t accept, what are we willing to attach our name to? Because when Satan lures…

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