A Clarification

An Essay By Timothy // 10/27/2006

A couple of months ago, I put up my piece “The Legacy of Our Literature,” and while I still feel very strongly concerning the point I made in it, I feel that a clarification of sorts is necessary.

When I wrote that piece, I was viewing the situation from the perspective of a writer. Like any type of artist, I don’t want to see my field deteriorate in quality and substance. However, I have since realized that I neglected to view the topic through a more important perspective, that of a Christian.

So, I want to make one point extremely clear. As Christian writers, the most important thing we can do with our writing is to bless others and bring them closer to Christ. If we accomplish this in our writing, we have done more than we could ever do through merely high-quality writing. I do not think I exaggerate when I say that if I write one piece that brings one person to Christ, I have done more than Tolkien ever did with The Lord of the Rings. And that is what all Christian writers should strive towards.

Only a few days ago, I was visiting the website of Ted Dekker, whom I criticized in my previous piece, and that was where I first realized this point. In all likelihood, Dekker’s work will not be handed down as a great example of literature, but if he is truly reaching people with the Gospel message through his thought-provoking stories, then there is no way I can fault him.

Don’t get me wrong, as Christians we should try to write in the highest quality possible, because we are writing, in effect, for God himself. However, that should not be our primary focus. Our primary focus should be to draw others closer to God through our writing. That does not mean that we have to present the Gospel message in all of our work, but it does mean that we should do it regularly. If we do, we will be fulfilling everything we are called to as writers for Christ.

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