Simmer Starters – July 18, 2015

I think I’m going to move my Simmer Starters to Saturday permanently, and do my regular posts mid-week. 🙂

Re-Imaging Jesus (Rebecca LuElla Miller) – “In the same way that the re-imagers want to make out that Christians are the new Pharisees, they want to hand Jesus the winebibber and glutton tag—only that’s now apparently a positive on his resumé.”

Why I Kissed Christian Fiction Goodbye – Part 1 (Brandon Barr) – I’m eagerly awaiting part two of this. Good thoughts here!  “Not all the fiction found in Christian bookstores, or on the Christian fiction section of your local bookstore, is bad fiction. Some of it is really great stuff. But all of these gems are limited in where they can go, and what they can say. They are also limited to being found only in Christian bookstores, or in the ‘Christian fiction’ section at the local bookstore, or quarantined within the Christian genres on Amazon. These stories will have little impact on the larger culture. If only a good Christian mystery could have the ‘Christian’ label axed and be placed with all the good Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, new age, authors who write mysteries and are actually speaking and influencing the wider culture. The same for every genre.”

How to Raise Boys Who Read (Thomas Spence) – “Hint: Not with gross-out books and video-game bribes.”  This is a sad article talking about the major gap between boys’ and girls’ reading ability, and the strange and rather bad ways our society has been trying to combat it.  It theorizes that screen time is to blame.  (My personal theory is that boys don’t like to read anymore firstly because the kinds of things boys enjoy reading has become largely politically incorrect and hard to find.  What do you think?)  The article ends on the fascinating note that homeschoolers do not even have this gender gap in reading ability.  Interesting…

Bad Reviews Sell Books (H.L. Burke) – A great post about how negative reviews can actually help authors in some cases.

7 Areas of Unbiblical Conscience Binding (Nicholas T. Batzig) – “To be sure, we should all be zealous to teach and exemplify every principle of holiness taught in Scripture; but more often than not, individuals who are most zealous for holiness fall into the trap of teaching their personal applications of a biblical–or a supposedly biblical–principle of holiness rather than simply teaching the principle.”

Seven Subtle Symptoms of Pride (Fabienne Harford) – Pride articles always leave me going, “Ow. Ow. Ow ow ow ow ow.” 😛 This one was very good.  “As seriously dangerous as pride is, it’s equally hard to spot. When it comes to diagnosing our hearts, those of us who have the disease of pride have a challenging time identifying our sickness. Pride infects our eyesight, causing us to view ourselves through a lens that colors and distorts reality. Pride will paint even our ugliness in sin as beautiful and commendable.”

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  1. Checking some of the links out!

  2. “The prevalent Christian culture has exchanged honesty for wholesomeness.” – why I kissed Christian fiction goodbye.
    Overall, I agree with everything he has said, though I would argue that a happy ending and a wholesome story can be done while doing everything he said, but, like he said, they have been miss used by the so called “Christian Artist”.

    • I agree! A book can be wholesome and happy without being dishonest. But some subject matter requires a look at more unpleasant topics and harder aspects of life and sin nature, and when Christian fiction tries to handle those dark topics and still somehow be wholesome, it just comes across weak and silly, IMO.

      • I also think it depends on what you mean by wholesome. I think Lord of the Rings is wholesome and it has some dark moments and dark subjects. I think books where girls fall in love with unbelievers and he suddenly gets saved and she never loses her purity are silly and not wholesome or anything. 🙂

        • Haha, amen to that! 😀 I actually find that “wholesome” has come to have a negative connotation to me, a connotation of shying away from showing any real sin, or only showing sin when there’s a quick consequence for it and it’s a very surface-level lesson. I would definitely agree with you that LotR is “wholesome,” but not in the negative way I usually think of when I hear the word. It actually handles real darkness, but it IS a healthy (AKA wholesome) book to read because it shows the defeat of evil and characters of strong moral fiber.

          • Exactly! Wholesome, to me, should be something that shows light overcoming the darkness… which means you have to have darkness. Wholesome should never be without darkness cause then you would have no reason for courage, bravery, or self sacrifice. I mean, dang it, look at the bible. Christ Died!!! A gruesome death. I think Christian writing should know how to show these things without wallowing in or bathing in a sinful scene. For instance, Christians shouldn’t act like sex never happens. They should understand that, right or wrong, good or used sinfully, it shouldn’t include a steamy sex scene. The bible has lots of rather “graphic” moments, but not wallowing moments. That should be our guide.

I love to hear your thoughts!

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