Mary E. DeMuth is an expert in Pioneer Parenting. She enables Christian parents to navigate our changing culture when their families left no good faith examples to follow. Her parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2007), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005). Mary also inspires people to face their trials through her real-to-life novels, Watching the Tree Limbs (nominated for a Christy Award) and Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, 2006). Mary has spoken at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, the ACFW Conference, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and at various churches and church planting ministries. Mary and her husband, Patrick, reside in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France, and planting a church.
Why Should Christ-Followers Read Fiction?
“Copyright 2009 Prison
Fellowship Ministries, reprinted with permission.
Last month we asked the question, Why should Christ followers read fiction? We looked at three ways: widening our worldview, teaching empathy, and experiencing healing. Here are the remaining seven ways:
1. Fiction unmasks us.
2. God’s redemptive
story weaves its way through many stories.
3. Novels allow for
paradox, causing us to ask the kinds of questions that help us search
4. Reading novels
critically helps us navigate the Scriptures better.
Reading a novel connects us to the Creator.
are given to appreciate and to honor within ourselves—a legacy we often ignore living up to, despite being made in that image. I think we forget that God is not ascetic in nature, but the author of gorgeous details, panache and aesthetics that sometimes serve no other purpose than to reflect the extravagant character of the Creator.”
6. Reading a novel
Second, it widens our human community. Meredith Efken believes “fiction is another form of art that helps us explore what it means to be human and helps express emotions and experiences in a way that connects us together. Like poetry or painting, it describes the world around us in a way that makes us appreciate it more.”
7. Reading stories
brings us face-to-face with Jesus, the grand storyteller.
Some novels have destroyed lives, wreaked havoc. But some have instigated revolutions, restored hope, initiated life-giving legislation. We understand the landscape of redemption between the covers of a well-told story. And for those of us who have been transformed by The Greatest Story, the power of novels comes as no surprise. Dare I say our spiritual lives depend on story? I will, and I do.