Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Doctrine and Writing.

So I write about Muses, and right after I posted I wonder if that title sounded pagan. It probably did.

So this time I'm winning back some Holy Points and going to write about doctrine.

So caveat here, I know in my readership there is a lot of denominational variation. Among like.... all three of you who regularly keep up with this blog. Which is quite an amount of doctrinal diversity for so small a sampling. I'm a Presbyterian, which means I'm an evil Calvinist/Predestination person. I believe in Sovereignty of God, baptizing infants and drinking alcohol. So now that you know where I stand lets talk about the controversial issues of doctrine and how it applies to writing.

Now, we all hold differing theological persuasions. Here is where things get tricky. How do we remain faithful to our doctrinal commitments while making our work accessible to other Christians who don't necessarily hold to the same commitments? Well here's where a bit of grace and a bit of wisdom come in.

Well I think there are two basic rules for writing about doctrine in your story. The first is, don't worry about offending anyone. Alright this rule seems a bit odd. Well not perhaps odd from a Calvinist, but normally we do think it's polite to try not to offend people when we put our doctrine into our works. Nothing could be further then what God intends for us. Honestly if you believe your doctrine is true, and it is good representation of the Absolute Truth of God, then of course you should publicize it. I'm not saying you have to push your doctrine in people's faces. But you do, as a Christian, have a duty to represent absolute Truth. Don't feel like you have to hide your doctrinal stance when you write. You really can't divorce yourself from your Theology. Don't try too.

On the other side of the spectrum. When you're putting something in your novel that is a contentious issue among other believers, please don't demonize the believers who hold to the opposing doctrine. Be polite, and courteous, while still holding to Absolute Truth. After all, if someone wrote an amazing Christian novel, but slammed your views/church, and represented what you believe as some infernal distortion, you might feel a bit hurt too. Take the time to understand the doctrine you are refuting. Remember that there are true believers among their number. And some of them are smarter then you.

On the whole, good rule of thumb when it comes to bringing doctrine into writing is, hold to truth and be humble. Humble Orthodoxy. Has a nice ring to it.

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