First, a quick answer to Cara who asked in her comment yesterday: Do you go into a book knowing the spiritual theme and then weave it in the second time through, or is it so settled in your mind that it twists and turns seamlessly with your whodunit plot?
Neither, Cara. I don't a story's spiritual theme when I start writing. I know only the suspense plot, and the spiritual aspect grows naturally from events in the plot, plus the characterization. This is why my novels aren't consistent as to level of spiritual issues. For example Brink of Death, first in my Hidden Faces series, had less of a spiritual emphasis than the third book of the series, Dead of Night. In the first book Annie wasn't a Christian and knew very little about Christian teaching. It wouldn't have felt natural to take her from such a place in her life to a sudden conversion (given all the pages that need to be spent on the suspense plot.) By Dead of Night, Annie is a Christian and during a crisis is called to pray with power. That book is heavy on the Christian emphasis. But much or little, readers tend to react favorably when the spiritual journey arises from the plot in a natural, believable way.
So my encouragement to you is, focus on a rip-roarin' suspense plot and let the spiritual part develop out of the characters' needs for help beyond themselves during such a crisis.
Now to today's topic. If you blitz around the Christian blog world, you may be aware of the controversy over the recently released movie End of the Spear. The brouhaha began when one Christian blogger took to task the movie’s producers Mart Green and Steve Saint for hiring Chad Allen, a gay man and vocal advocate for homosexuals, to play Steve Saint’s father in the film. Unfortunately, the blogger quoted information related to this issue that was not true. This information then was passed around the Internet, resulting in over 100 pastors calling upon Green and Saint to “repent” and also resulting in boycotts against the movie. Green and Saint, two men strong in their Christian faith, were badly hurt in the fallout, and few seemed to want to hear their answers to the charges.
How unfortunate that any Christian would call upon others to avoid seeing this film, which carries such a message of Christ's redemption.Two things are evident to me. One, in the blogging world, it’s so easy to pass untested information around as fact, and hurt people by doing so. Two, how sad that Christians are sometimes worst hurt and judged by other Christians.
For the truth of the story, I send you to Randy Alcorn’s site. (Many of you either know, or know of Randy as a respected author and pastor.) I and a few other bloggers are doing this to help spread the word of what really happened in the casting for End of the Spear. Even though the initial blogger of disinformation is correcting himself online, some who’ve read his previous opinions may somehow miss the follow-up corrections. If you know anyone who has been upset over this controversy and refused to see the movie as a result, please send them to Randy’s site.
First, Green’s and Saint’s answers regarding what happened:
Second, Randy’s lengthy article about the controversy and how it is being corrected. And more important, how we Christians should watch out own behavior in situations such as this:
Once you have read the articles, please return and post your comments here.