Don’t Do List

I encourage you to write. I’ve read some really neat, amazing, diverse stuff from all you writing Lutherans! But I’m putting together a Don’t Do list. Because some things shouldn’t be done, even in books. Am I right?

Don’t Do 

Do generally avoid either belittling or glorifying sin, though that’s admittedly an art with different outcomes for different readers. However, DO NOT:

  • Belittle the gifts of Church
    • Yes, the church is full of sinners, but driving folks further away from actual congregations, whether in one’s imagination or in real life, is inherently counter-productive for a Lutheran author.  
  • Belittle the gifts of family and vocation
    • They already have enough attacks against them.
  • Language is a gift from God, so
    • don’t belittle it through unnecessary coarseness and vulgarity. It does not make the content edgy.
    • don’t be lazy and just use the first words. Editing honors language.
    • Also, Scripture is full of God-given symbolism. Don’t demean or disregard symbolism.
  • Blaspheme God
    • Regarding His character
    • Regarding His method of using Word & Sacrament
    • Regarding the blessed Trinity
    • Regarding the Incarnation
      • Don’t belittle Jesus’ humanity. Don’t belittle God’s divinity. Walk a careful line or don’t use that line!
      • Don’t have Jesus be an alien. Humanity is inseparable from the incarnation.
      • Don’t belittle the bodily resurrection!!! Gnosticism in all forms is anti-Christian!
      • The concept of Jesus having a human child has a cult revolving around such a bloodline. What could possibly be worth stirring up what has a cult? 
    • Regarding the Last Day
      • Christians want the coming of Christ. We are pro-end of the world as written. You can take that as a friendly reminder.

I don’t mean to vaguebook, but boy I was disappointed. Reading a interesting book and then, bam. I mean, it’s one thing to have a different world. I’m fine with fantasy. I do think that Jesus can be part of historical fiction or fantasy. Some things just . . . detract rather than glorify. Some lines shouldn’t be crossed.

Also, another thing to think about, when a fictional or mythological character already has a history connected with baptism . . . why recreate an origin without it? I guess one should be sure to read original stories before recreating them. <Sigh> Also, taking a Christian’s character without reading its original forms seems unnecessary.

Meanwhile, let’s also avoid practices that make it seem like Christian writers are in rivalry with each other rather than complimentary. 

Anything you’d add to this list? Cuz maybe there’s more that I’m missing.

If folks don’t have a doctrinal reviewer, maybe a list like this could help. Surely Christians don’t intentionally get into such . . . unnecessary scandal but excitement can carry a person away for a while.

1 Comment

Filed under As Christian Writers, Writing Tips

One Response to Don’t Do List

  1. The problem is, for the most part, people don’t want to read good theology for entertainment. Heresy and scandal sell books. Dan Brown didn’t make his fortune by peddling orthodoxy.

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