I am so thrilled and honored to be blogging at Seekerville again! Thanks, Mary, for the invite. I have had something burning in my heart for about a month now and want to share some thoughts with you.
I have been an avid historical fiction reader since my college years. (That is more years than I like to think about, but I completed my bachelor’s degree in 1987.) I started with some secular titles, but after beginning a job in a Christian bookstore and reading The Honorable Imposter by Gilbert Morris as soon as it was released, I was hooked on Christian historical fiction from then on. I love reading about people in the past and how they lived. I love learning historical tidbits as well. (I find history much more palatable that way, even though I enjoyed most of my history classes. I have even taken some graduate history classes I enjoyed.) I have so many authors I love to read in this genre. (Yes, Mary, including you! ) I have spent many, many wonderful hours perusing the past and getting lost in another time. However, recently something happened in one of my college classes that showed me a new calling for Christian historical authors.
I teach a course at Wesley College in Florence, Mississippi, that I was allowed to create called Christian Literature. I love this course! I begin with In His Steps by Charles Shelden, a must read if you have not, and then move into modern offerings of Christian fiction. It is so much fun and leads to so many wonderful discussions. A few weeks ago, a student in my class said something that startled me greatly. We were discussing how God had worked in the founding of the United States and throughout our nation’s history. I said something about how our founding fathers saw the need to have God and Christian principles as part of America’s foundation and that separation of church and state was not part of their thinking. (It is not in any official document as you know.) The student I mentioned said that he didn’t think the founding fathers really thought that way and that they didn’t really want Christian ideals as part of the government’s establishment. I was so shocked it took me a moment to respond and reassure him differently.
I tell all of this for a point. This student is a young Christian in the Bible Belt and he feels this way. I think Christians have been so worried about what is being taught in the public school science classes (and I am appalled at some of that, too) that we have neglected what is being taught, or rather what is not being taught, in the history classes. This is where Christian historical fiction comes in. Yes, all Christian fiction is important as it reveals how God works in the hearts of men in all situations. But Christian historical fiction now has another calling. We (the authors) must write truthfully about how God has worked in America to bring about this great nation. We can reveal that while many of the early leaders may have fallen short of living right, they understood the importance of having God and Christianity as the center and foundation of American life.
So, don’t be afraid to include real history in your historical stories. Just be sure to do your research and get it correct. It is more important now than ever before. In this time when so many want to rewrite the history of the United States and leave out the Main Character, we must put Him back where He belongs and show real history from His POV.
Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for A Bouquet of Iris, the latest release from Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver.