Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Writing the Truth (Number 47 in a Series)

“That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there a thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been long ago, in the ages which were before us. There is no remembrance of the former generations; neither shall there be any remembrance of the latter generations that are to come, among those that shall come after.” Ecclesiastes 1:9-11, American Standard Version

Why should a Christian writer write? We are cautioned against changing or adding anything to the Scriptures (Revelation 22), so what can we offer? Why bother? I think the reason speaks to us here in Ecclesiastes: although nothing is new here on earth, we humans forget.

As Christian writers, our task is to refresh the memory of our readers with what is in God’s Word. The truth there is powerful enough, exciting enough, eternal enough without us adding to or changing the meaning of it. We only have to retell in it in a way that directs the reader back to the Author of All.

Many ways lie at our disposal. Take a look at Liz Curtis Higgs. She uses a reframing of the Bible truth to tell the story set in a different time, a different land. The truth doesn’t alter, only the faces and the attire of the characters. Read one of her historical novels and find how little human nature has changed through the centuries.

Another avenue involves building around a basic Bible truth and weaving a different story from the threads. This method compels us to face God’s law and love. In the hands of master writers like DiAnn Mills and James Scott Bell, the pattern of the cloth reveals action, suspense and adventure.

Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye collaborated on the powerful ‘Left Behind’ series and put modern faces on John’s Revelation. As readers, we can understand the teachings there more thoroughly through the rousing stories they wrote. They’ve collaborated on other works as well as published solo works.

Michelle Medlock Adams applies her skills in writing children’s books. No age limit exists for Christian readership and she brings truths to little hearts in words they can understand.

The examples represent only a few of the inspirations for people like me-Christians who hope to spread God’s Word through our writing. They write to shine the light of God’s Word on the daily path of their readers.

We fledgling authors can look at them and follow their course. Whether we write fiction or study guides, treatises or devotionals, we can write to glorify Him who gave us the words. Write for publication, write for your church bulletin or write encouraging notes to those around you, but write.

Visit your local Christian store for more ways to find God’s truth in today’s world. If you have a desire to write for Him, Google “Christian writing conference” for an abundance of resources on the local and national level. (I can attest as to the wonderful environment of Write-to-Publish in Wheaton, IL.) You’ll find learning and support.

Father, we thank You for the powerful tool of words. Help us to use them to Your glory. Show us where and how to reach others for you. And thank you for the inspiration of successful Christian authors who teach us ways to spread your word in many formats.

© 2010 Mary Beth Magee

Other Resources:

Chris Fabry - collaborated with Jerry Jenkins on a Left Behind series for kids as well as many of his own solo works

Debbie Fuller Thomas

Mary deMuth

Max Lucado

Jane Rubietta

Cecil B. Murphey

Debbie Macomber

Ann Downing

Don’t be afraid to Google the name of your favorite Christian author to find their webpage. I’ve given you some of my favorites for your convenience. None of the authors asked to be listed or gave any compensation for my reference to them. They are simply people I respect and admire.
Feel free to add your favorites in the comments field.

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