I love reading Christian novels. They remind me how badly I need Christ in my life. Sometimes, however, the books get too preachy. What elements make a Christian book a good one?
In To Darkness Fled, Achan has conversations with Arman, the representative of God, himself. Some people thought the spiritual aspects of this book were too much, but I thought it was a success. Achan clearly needed help, and he got help. I could feel his peace when Arman spoke to him.
In Sixteen, Nikki is a pregnant, depressed teen. Her friend Christy is the one who tells her about Jesus. She says, “In the end, after all of the evidence from Christians and all the doubts from others, you just have to decide if you believe in God or not”, which I think is a good point. There are always going to be people with a stronger faith than you and there are always going to be people with a weaker faith than you. All you can do is keep going regardless.
Nikki then converts without another thought. Is that how it usually goes though? When you’re despairing over your past, wouldn’t you be more cautious about leaping into a future? (That’s just my two cents though. I really enjoyed reading Sixteen.)
Purple Moon is about another troubled teen. Selena, on the verge of addiction, spends the summer at her cousin’s house and goes to a three day camp with the next door neighbor (a total hearthrob, by the way). After her conversion, however, the doubts come back. Could Jesus really love someone as unlovable as her?
Because of her reluctances, her ultimate conversion in the end feels more real. Life isn’t perfect, even for Christians. There is, however, an eternal silver lining to life's cloud: the reassurance of God’s love.
What makes a Christian book believable? In my opinion, realistic difficulties and powerful convincing does the trick for me. That’s just my bookish opinion though. Comment and tell me what’s yours!