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I'm not completely clear on what Dan Balow is getting at here. I think he's making a clarion call for Christians writers writing Christian fiction to build up shaky foundations, but I could be misreading him.
https://stevelaube.com/markets-different-think/

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Metaphorically speaking, there is no such thing as preaching to the choir.

 

People are complicated, almost immune from categorization and require authors rely heavily on immutable Biblical principles, which they know still apply, despite changes in culture.

 

You are not writing a book for married women. You are writing a book for a woman who is struggling every day to find stability amidst shifting sands, seeking to love God above all else and love their neighbor in spite of her circumstances. And by the way, her husband won’t go to church and her son is making terrible life choices.

 

When you write, don’t think about writing to people living lives you think they should live. Write to real people. They are all seeking to grow in their faith amidst all the list of influences I mentioned above.

 

The ground is shifting and if the foundation is not strong, the building will crumble.

 

 

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I do believe there's a place for writing to Christians who are losing sight of Christ in a world which threatens to overwhelm us, but I feel I should mention that Christ is our firm foundation and we only get shaky when we don't build our lives on Him. There is room for works which build up our confidence in Christ and our identity as Christ-followers.

Once we secure our lives on a firm foundation, we're supposed to be going out and harvesting souls out in the fields. We need more works from competent workers with an eye toward reaching the lost. 

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That article is a little, uh, confusing. And I certainly agree with you, Phy. I think we have two sides to that coin of foundation: one is necessary to encourage, exhort, and build up in order to enable others to go out as side two, to win others. And a thought just struck me, which is not up for theological debate, but we never know if there are those who say they are Christians yet really aren't. We have to, then, be able to offer both sides. Did that make any sense at all? :rolleyes: And yes, for sure, we need more competent workers. :)

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What kind of book would you write to the modern Syrian Christians?  I am reading In the Steps of St. Paul by Peter Walker.  Syria was Paul's most fertile field.  There are accounts of the region being completely won over to Christ.  Now they are drifting and drowning in the sea, literally, because of persecution.  

The point of Dan Brown's article, for me, was the word 'should'.  My brother has a saying, "Don't 'should' all over yourself!"  Don't prescribe.  

Here's a 'should' from the article that I can agree with:

"You should sit in humble silence before you dare put anything on paper.

When you truly know your audience, writing from your faith should be hard, as you ponder how imperfect the world is and how deep is the love of God."

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11 minutes ago, Nicola said:

What kind of book would you write to the modern Syrian Christians? 

 

How many books are modern Syrian Christians reading? 

Perhaps write books to highlight the plight of modern Syrian Christians to others who aren't aware of their plight.

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5 hours ago, Phy said:

I'm not completely clear on what Dan Balow is getting at here. I think he's making a clarion call for Christians writers writing Christian fiction to build up shaky foundations, but I could be misreading him.

 

I don't know Steve, and I'm not judging him in any way as a Christian, a person, or as a writer.

 

Okay, that's out of the way, and I can concentrate on what he said.  What he's saying is just plain poorly worded and what I hesitantly will describe as slap/dash lecturing.   Slap/dash lecturing is taking generally accepted principles and telling everyone else about them as though they've never heard of them.

 

Of course, Biblical foundations have to be strong behind our writing.  That's not only okay to say, but think about it- any Christian writer that isn't keeping that in mind ought to quit writing.

 

But what he says next is a little bizarre.  The two women he's discussing are not polar opposites or different target audiences.  Who says they can't be one and the same?

 

5 hours ago, Phy said:

You are not writing a book for married women. You are writing a book for a woman who is struggling every day to find stability amidst shifting sands, seeking to love God above all else and love their neighbor in spite of her circumstances. And by the way, her husband won’t go to church and her son is making terrible life choices.

 

When you write, don’t think about writing to people living lives you think they should live. Write to real people. They are all seeking to grow in their faith amidst all the list of influences I mentioned above.

 

I think this is one of the horrors of excessive posting.  We say things that are not original and are only marginally helpful because..... well, we have to keep posting or we will no longer interesting to our audience.

 

He could have said things this way: Keep your audience in mind and make sure you never lose touch with your Biblical principles.  Once sentence.  Nothing he's added is worth more than just one sentence.

 

And Steve is no doubt an accomplished, wonderful man of impeccable credentials who only wants to do good for writers.  I'm with that.  But there comes a point when people spend so much time telling other writers how to write that it gets sloppy, and that's what I think happened here.

 

I think I'm right about this, because I do the same thing sometimes.

 

Sometimes we just need to step back and write and only every now and then lecture the world.

 

Now I think I'll go back and read Nicola's thoughts because they're better than mine.

 

My brother has a saying, "Don't 'should' all over yourself!"  Don't prescribe.   - Nicola

Edited by suspensewriter
commited a hideous comma faux pas

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Ooo...I like that! Don't 'should' all over yourself!' For me? I'd say, don't should all over everyone else! Gotta try to remember this a little more.

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