Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ratings for Christian Books?

Since my money flow is very slow coming in, I have been pretty much spending money on my bills. And gasoline. I stopped off at the Christian bookstore where I used to work last week to chat with my former co-workers as I do occasionally, and spied #1 in a series I was interested in reading, and it was only $2.99 - so I bought it.

This book was not from Thomas Nelson, who has the tendency to drop in some words they shouldn't, but was from Zondervan.

The main character was a n FBI agent. The plot was good, interesting read once it took off, but..... I has some issues with the book.

First off, I know there are a lot of Christians who believe you can drink alcoholic beverages in moderation - but...... there are also a lot who do not believe that, so I personally feel Christian fiction authors should leave it alone - it isn't necessary to have the character drinking a Budweiser - why not a Diet Coke, or iced tea?! But even if you go with the moderation belief, this "Christian" character in this book got drunk a couple of times, and "buzzed".

Next up, the language. Once I hit the language I sped my reading up to just get the book done, so I may have missed some. What I caught was the "d word", the "a" word (donkey), and of course "hell" used as a curse word.

I love to read Christian fiction, and do not like running into these kind of words - why do they need to be in there? Shouldn't Christian fiction be held to a higher standard than secular? And if an author wants those words in there, then why not write secular fiction?

I have a couple of ideas I'd like these companies to try if they must put curse words in their books:

1) Have a line of secular, or secular-leaning, so people will know what to expect from any books in that imprint

2) Have a rating, or more likely, a warning on the book - they do it with movies - so if these Christian publishers just have to put curse words and other questionable content in their books, is it asking too much that they let readers know what to expect before they buy a book?

And the book I mentioned....... I took it back and got my $2.99 back.


Susan Stitch said...

I agree! I understand the desire of Christian authors to write 'crossover' books and to also put real world characters into their stories, but if I am choosing to spend my time alone with a book, I want to get away from that world.

The same goes for some of the new levels of passion in some of the Christian love stories. They are bordering on Harlequin romances. If that's what I wanted, that's what I'd buy!

Peter P said...

I am very concerned about the latest rash of 'Christian' books.

If you have standards that you believe are set by almighty God then there is no justification for lowering those standards.

Some people I have spoken to in the industry think it's OK to write and print something that they wouldn't say out loud just because it's not quite as raunchy or edgy as some of the secular work out there.

I have also read books by authors who claim to be Christians, published by publishers who claim to be Christians which belittle God.

There's absolutely no justification for that and it is in no way acceptable.

I'm glad you took the book back. I would have too.

Kim M. said...

I too agree! And the excuses some of the authors have made just made me not ever want to even touch their books. Especially the ones who call it the "real world". To me, that just says Christians can't be set apart and different than the world... and that is not what the Bible says.

Kim M. said...

Oh... and I wanted to say that I agree with Susan Stitch when she said
"if I am choosing to spend my time alone with a book, I want to get away from that world."

Like she said, If I wanted "trashy" or "edgy"... well I'd get it from the secular world.

Steve-n-Deb said...

It's not just the language and passion. It's the total lack of Biblical worldview in a Christian book. If I can read the book and finish it without being able to tell if it is written by a Christian author or not, it is not a Christian book -- at least in my opinion. Even from a romance, something should challenge me or make me think.