Faith and Fiction

Author Mary E. DeMuth writes in BreakPoint magazine, “What flows to a thirsty world comes from what is inside our hearts. And our hearts are typically instructed through story, not bullet points.”

Concisely and poignantly, DeMuth reviews from a Christian perspective a handful of reasons why reading fiction has lasting value: it draws us into community; it reveals our own hiding places; it deepens our understanding of truth; it pulls us out of ourselves.

“I’ve better understood (and wept over) genocide after reading stories,” DeMuth says. “My prayers have deepened for those experiencing human trafficking. Why? Because a novel took me to places my visa wouldn’t take me; novels widened my American-centric view of the world.”

Christians and non-Christians alike can appreciate the novel’s ability to undercut even Priceline in making “travel,” or at least exposure to another culture, available to the masses. (Not to mention the fact that airplanes have yet to master time travel).

Empathy is often the first step toward inspiration to act or seek change, and stories are ideally suited to foster empathy.

In her conclusion, DeMuth again underlines the active nature of fiction, saying, “Some novels have destroyed lives, wreaked havoc. But there are novels that have instigated revolutions, restored hope, enacted life-giving legislation.”

It is true: humans, not books, effect change. However, it is equally true that what we read can have a profound impact on the kind of change we choose to effect.

DeMuth’s newest novel, Daisy Chain, is available from Amazon. (Also see Redeeming Fiction, from The Point.)

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4 Responses to Faith and Fiction

  1. Mamie Smith says:

    What do you perceive as the difference between faith and ficton? Are you saying that they parallel each other

    Take a look at a book that places faith eons above fiction.

    http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/TheUnfoldingOfARose.html

  2. jenecrit says:

    I would say that fiction, rather than being a parallel to faith, can be a complement or aid to faith.

    In my experience, it’s easier to open conversation about a difficult or controversial topic with a story than a lecture. In a similar way, fiction can speak to our experiences and emotions and provide an entry point for a more open discussion of faith.

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Mary DeMuth says:

    Thanks so much for highlighting my fiction article. I really appreciate it!

    With joy,
    Mary

  4. jenecrit says:

    My pleasure! I enjoyed reading your article.

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