Wednesday, December 22, 2004

224 Christian Fiction

"As a kid, I was never a big fan of the Sugar Creek Gang novels. I must have been the odd boy out, however, because our church library had tons of volumes, all of them lined up straight and tall on their own shelf as if they were themselves proud of the universal parental and ecclesiastical approval they brandished. Even today, those books stand in my memory as truly righteous stories for truly righteous boys.

Of which I didn't know many. Perhaps that's why I didn't care for the books. Despite the fact my mother wanted me to read them, despite the fact the church library was full of them, despite the fact that the boys in their pages occasionally got in trouble, I found the novels rather odd. They were, to me, unreal. Often as not the boys were naughty, but they always came out of fray on their knees, in prayer, smelling as sweet as the rose of Sharon. I attended a Christian school, went to church twice every Sunday, and lived, for all practical purposes, in a verifiably Christian community. But among the Sugar Creek Gang boys, I didn't recognize a soul. They weren't real."

Read the full essay on Christian fiction by James Calvin Schaap.

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