Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can Inspirationals Be Too Preachy?

Should they be preachy at all?

Sometimes a reviewer will write that a given inspirational novel was too preachy. There are some fans who take offense at this because they think the word of God can never be too preachy. One blogger just wanted to know the difference between being ‘acceptably’ preachy and ‘unacceptably’ preachy.

Consider the Bible quote in Matthew, Chapter 7: “By their fruits they shall be known.” I believe one preaches loudest when one silently lives the model Christian life. That is, when one witnesses by example and not by harangue.

I think an inspirational should not be preachy at all. Consider this question: Can a romance be too trite? It shouldn’t be trite at all. I don’t see a need to be preachy unless being preachy is actually part of the plot.

I can even imagine a wonderful ‘Christian’ inspirational in which there is no mention of the Bible or of Christ. The story could be about a good man in a pagan world living an exemplary ‘Christian’ life with his actions being guided from an inner light. The story could show how this man’s example positively affects his neighbors.

C.S. Lewis wrote many Christian allegories that never mentioned Christ or the Bible. It can be done but you have to be a very good author.

The question could still be asked, what do you think makes a novel too preachy as opposed to acceptably preachy? How about if I put it this way:

You Know an Inspirational is too preachy if:

1. Parts of it read like a sermon.
2. Actual sermons are delivered which are not required by the plot.
3. The author takes insider shots at another denomination (like an attack on predestination.)
4. Self-standing Bible quotes are given in italic that are not sufficiently integrated into the story line. (Often the quotes are just there to turn a ‘tender romance’ into an inspirational in order to provide another market for the book.)
5. When on reading it, you think it is too preachy. (In this case, 'thinking makes it so.')

In other words, “walk the walk, just don’t talk the talk.”

No comments:

Post a Comment