What do you think about when you grab a Janette Oke book, a Chicken Soup for the Soul paperback, or a novel by Beverly Lewis? Do you think it is inspiring or Christian Fiction? Should this matter to you ? Does it make a literal difference?
If you’re a librarian then according to this website, “classes have already begun” to inform you on the popularity of inspirational fiction and how this “explosion” is blending with other genres. If you are a reader, then the difference may not have put a blip on your radar. You probably figure a good book is a good book especially if it leaves out the bad stuff like cursing, heavy violence, and so on.
Onward to a working definition now: What exactly is Inspirational Fiction and does it differ significantly from Christian Fiction? Inspirational fiction can easily slip into any category as long as it has depth, a beautiful theme of people overcoming adversity and having power to entertain and inspire you. These are not necessarily classified as Christian Fiction, and are enjoyable reads.
As discussed in a previous article, Christian Fiction are those works reflecting on the redemptive work of Christ but with an inspiring touch. In some cases however, a CF may not have that inspiring touch of someone pulling their own selves up to overcome adversity, at least, not without the help of the Lord Himself. This could be just an opinion of the reader though.
Here’s a list of those authors whose writings can be classified as Inspirational, CF(Christian Fiction) or both.
Janette Oke(Inspirational, could be Christian Fiction)
Beverly Lewis(Chrisitan Fiction, Amish Fiction)
Irene Hannon(Christian Fiction)
Flannery O’Connor(Inspirational, Christian Fiction)
Randy Alcorn(Christian Fiction)
Lisa Tawn Bergren(Inspirational, CF)
Cindy Woodsmall(Christian Fiction, Amish Fiction)
Karen Kingsbury(Christian Fiction)
River Jordan(Inspirational, could be Christian Fiction)
As you can see, some authors write really inspirational works which could slightly be classified as Christian literature, however some Christian Literature can be identified simply as good fiction that’s inspiring.
What do you think, Norfolk, Va readers? Post your thoughts here! In the meantime you can grab these great works in your own public library:
Norfolk Main Library
235 East Plume Street
Norfolk VA 23510
Reference: 664-7323, option 2
Erica J. Smith is the author of The Prayer Monologues and is a contributing writer for The Norfolk Christian Fiction Examiner. She offers free writing tips, reviews and resources on The Write Web. Contact her at: [email protected]