Best Christian Fiction
1 Redeeming Love
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4.47 of 5 stars 4.47 avg rating — 105,059 ratings
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2 The Chronicles of Narnia (C...
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 284,574 ratings
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3 A Voice in the Wind (Mark o...
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4.61 of 5 stars 4.61 avg rating — 37,435 ratings
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4 The Shack: Where Tragedy Co...
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 282,179 ratings
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5 The Lion, the Witch, and th...
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 946,290 ratings
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6 The Screwtape Letters
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 153,176 ratings
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7 An Echo in the Darkness (Ma...
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4.59 of 5 stars 4.59 avg rating — 23,150 ratings
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8 This Present Darkness (Dark...
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 50,660 ratings
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9 As Sure as the Dawn (Mark o...
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4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 16,744 ratings
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10 Left Behind (Left Behind, #1)
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 113,155 ratings
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11 J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed...
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4.58 of 5 stars 4.58 avg rating — 67,942 ratings
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12 The Pilgrim's Progress
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 47,130 ratings
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13 Love Comes Softly (Love Com...
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 21,098 ratings
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14 The Atonement Child
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 21,039 ratings
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15 Jane Eyre
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 887,725 ratings
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16 The Circle Trilogy: The Com...
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4.48 of 5 stars 4.48 avg rating — 2,400 ratings
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17 Little Women (Little Women,...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 960,748 ratings
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18 The Great Divorce
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 55,821 ratings
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19 The Negotiator (O'Malley, #1)
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 14,787 ratings
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20 Piercing the Darkness (Dark...
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 33,366 ratings
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21 Till We Have Faces
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 27,300 ratings
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22 The Horse and His Boy (Chro...
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 138,670 ratings
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23 The Magician's Nephew (Chro...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 207,302 ratings
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24 A Light into the Darkness (...
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4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 103 ratings
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25 The Princess
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 6,966 ratings
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26 The Scarlet Thread
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 15,091 ratings
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27 Thr3e
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 19,590 ratings
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28 A Bride Most Begrudging
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 7,522 ratings
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29 The Last Sin Eater
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 15,565 ratings
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30 Black: The Birth of Evil (T...
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 18,226 ratings
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31 The Robe
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 13,225 ratings
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32 Compulsion- A Short Story
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 16 ratings
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33 The Guardian (O'Malley #2)
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4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 8,438 ratings
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34 The Voyage of the Dawn Trea...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 240,282 ratings
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35 The Truth Seeker (O'Malley #3)
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4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 10,452 ratings
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36 The Protector (O'Malley #4)
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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 8,331 ratings
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37 Pride and Prejudice
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 1,372,612 ratings
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38 Red: The Heroic Rescue (The...
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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 15,190 ratings
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39 The Silver Chair (Chronicle...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 122,779 ratings
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40 The Healer (O'Malley #5)
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4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 8,303 ratings
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41 Prince Caspian (Chronicles ...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 191,445 ratings
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42 Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2)
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 22,328 ratings
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43 The Help
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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 1,080,163 ratings
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44 Danger in the Shadows (O'Ma...
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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 8,040 ratings
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45 The Rescuer (O'Malley #6)
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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 7,448 ratings
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46 The Measure of a Lady
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 8,212 ratings
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47 Hinds' Feet on High Places
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 24,902 ratings
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48 That Hideous Strength (Spac...
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 16,989 ratings
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49 White: The Great Pursuit (T...
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 17,433 ratings
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50 The Master's Plan A Novel A...
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4.85 of 5 stars 4.85 avg rating — 121 ratings
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51 Skin
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 8,412 ratings
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52 Blink
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 11,234 ratings
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53 The Oath
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 16,784 ratings
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54 The Little House Collection...
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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 107,248 ratings
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55 Candle in the Darkness (Ref...
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 5,958 ratings
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56 Les Misérables
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 414,192 ratings
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57 The Covenant (Abram's Daugh...
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 8,023 ratings
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58 Fancy Pants (Only in Goodin...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 3,931 ratings
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59 Unashamed: Rahab (Lineage o...
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 5,735 ratings
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60 Her Daughter's Dream (Marta...
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 7,587 ratings
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61 The Red Tent
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 332,329 ratings
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62 Thorn in My Heart (Lowlands...
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 4,228 ratings
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63 Vienna Prelude (Zion Covena...
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4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 5,170 ratings
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64 A Passion Most Pure (Daught...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 3,209 ratings
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65 Leaper: The Misadventures o...
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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47 avg rating — 245 ratings
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66 The God Cookie: A Novel
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 214 ratings
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67 Kiss
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 5,941 ratings
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68 Monster
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 13,518 ratings
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69 The Shunning (The Heritage ...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 15,624 ratings
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70 Prophet
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 9,171 ratings
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71 And the Shofar Blew
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 8,728 ratings
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72 Scepter of Faith (Angels Wi...
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4.56 of 5 stars 4.56 avg rating — 64 ratings
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73 At Home in Mitford (Mitford...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 29,908 ratings
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74 The Last Battle (Chronicles...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 115,277 ratings
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75 Safely Home
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4.41 of 5 stars 4.41 avg rating — 5,513 ratings
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76 Her Mother's Hope (Marta's ...
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 13,136 ratings
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77 Hadassah: One Night with th...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 2,221 ratings
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78 The Hawk and the Jewel (Ken...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 5,075 ratings
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79 A Walk to Remember
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 371,259 ratings
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80 Letter Perfect (California ...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 3,401 ratings
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81 Last Light (Restoration, #1)
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 5,019 ratings
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82 The Silent Governess
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 6,280 ratings
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83 When the Heart Cries (Siste...
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 2,907 ratings
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84 Bittersweet (California His...
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 1,779 ratings
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85 DragonSpell (DragonKeeper C...
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 6,773 ratings
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86 Redemption (Redemption, #1)
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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 15,787 ratings
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87 Lady of Milkweed Manor
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 4,315 ratings
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88 Leaving (Bailey Flanigan, #1)
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 10,438 ratings
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89 Remember (Redemption, #2)
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4.39 of 5 stars 4.39 avg rating — 12,651 ratings
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90 Rekindled (Fountain Creek C...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 3,871 ratings
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91 Showdown (Paradise, #1)
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 8,947 ratings
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92 Fire by Night (Refiner's Fi...
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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 3,834 ratings
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93 When Crickets Cry
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 6,305 ratings
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94 Pretense
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 5,176 ratings
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95 House
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 15,293 ratings
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96 Stepping Heavenward
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 3,455 ratings
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97 Fireproof
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4.45 of 5 stars 4.45 avg rating — 24,273 ratings
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98 From a Distance (Timber Rid...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 3,759 ratings
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98 Unconditional
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 41 ratings
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100 Raising Dragons (Dragons in...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 3,952 ratings
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1,454 books · 1,886 voters · list created July 30th, 2008 by Auntie J (votes) .
87 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments (showing 1-50 of 85) (85 new)


message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Why did you put the Bible on this list?


message 2: by Angie (new)

Angie Laura wrote: "Why did you put the Bible on this list?"

Maybe because it's the Mormon version.


message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda How is the Helen Keller book a work of "Christian fiction"? She was not a Christian, and it's not fictional. Just wondering...


message 4: by Shannon (new)

Shannon The Red Tent is a great book but far from Christian Fiction.


message 5: by Jonathan (last edited Oct 17, 2009 09:50AM) (new)

Jonathan But if it's Mormon then it's not Christian. Though it certainly is fictional (in part).


message 6: by Adam (new)

Adam I had no idea that C.S. Lewis wrote so many books. I love The Chronichles of Narnia.
I heard about The Shack. Is it any good?


message 7: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Adam, I didn't care for The Shack at all. It's a "love it or hate it" book. Despite all I read online, nearly all those I know who have read it hated it.


message 8: by Adam (new)

Adam Ok, thats funny. For everybody I have asked they have either said "I thought it was amazing!" or "I hated it!". So I guess I'll just have to read it and see...



message 9: by Casimir (new)

Casimir Radon Jonathan wrote: "But if it's Mormon then it's not Christian. Though it certainly is fictional (in part)."
Haha, you think Mormons are any more wrong than you are. Now that's funny.



Mike (the Paladin) Again not to upset anyone, but A Grief Observed is decidedly NOT fiction.


message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily Laura wrote: "Why did you put the Bible on this list?"

You are very right; the Bible shouldn't be on the list.


message 12: by Marshall (new)

Marshall Jonathan wrote: "But if it's Mormon then it's not Christian. Though it certainly is fictional (in part)."

The real Bible has a place on the list, as it is the greatest book ever written... but it should not be on the fiction list. The LDS bible actually is fiction, so I guess it is right where it needs to be.


message 13: by Marshall (new)

Marshall Adam wrote: "I had no idea that C.S. Lewis wrote so many books. I love The Chronichles of Narnia.
I heard about The Shack. Is it any good?"


I read it, but didn't like reading it because of the subject matter... However, I felt relieved when I finished it. It is not a book to start and then stop short because it may leave you with a sense of emptiness (that God doesn't care about the individual). It definitely deals with harsh realities... the kind that can rip apart the spirit, but rebuild the soul. I have recommended to others.


message 14: by Manda (last edited May 02, 2010 08:12AM) (new)

Manda Why is the Mormon bible on the list?


message 15: by Reader (new)

Reader You should add "One night with the King"


message 16: by Reader (new)

Reader Ama wrote: "Why is the Mormon bible on the list?"

good point. thats kinda stupid.


message 17: by Reader (last edited May 12, 2010 12:53PM) (new)

Reader Emily wrote: "Laura wrote: "Why did you put the Bible on this list?"

You are very right; the Bible shouldn't be on the list."


the bible is true sience everything happened in it.


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen I'd like to recommend The Negotiator by Dee Henderson, and Sophie's Heart by Lori Wick as two great books that should be higher on this list.


message 19: by Kendall (new)

Kendall The Bible isn't fiction


message 20: by Nonners (new)

Nonners Casimir wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "But if it's Mormon then it's not Christian. Though it certainly is fictional (in part)."
Haha, you think Mormons are any more wrong than you are. Now that's funny.
"



I don't understand. Why are you laughing?


Brenna{#1 Hg Fan!} I think this is the best Christian fiction book!
Check it out:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/80...


message 23: by Werner (new)

Werner As some other people have noted, the Bible doesn't belong on a list dedicated to "Christian Fiction." This is also true of a few other nonfiction books here, such as C. S. Lewis' autobiography Surprised by Joy. (Technically, poetry and drama aren't fiction in the sense that literary critics would define it either; but when they tell stories, I can see including them.) Also, most people would define "Christian fiction" as written by a professing Christian, which at least one author here (Anthony Burgess), by his own statement, was not.

Goodreads librarians (such as myself) are authorized to edit lists to remove books that shouldn't be there; but we're threatened with dire penalties if we remove anything that should be kept, so I'm inclined to be cautious about it. Janis, you created this list; how broadly did you intend to define "Christian Fiction?" Would deleting some of the sorts of books I've just mentioned be in accord with your intention? (Remember, the usual rule of thumb is "Silence is consent!" :-) )


message 24: by Werner (new)

Werner Okay, I think over a week of silence is enough to infer consent from. :-) So, I've just now deleted eight books (including the Bible) that I know are nonfiction. Someone else had apparently already deleted the Burgess book; I didn't delete any just now on the grounds that the author wasn't a professing Christian. (I have my doubts about several of the ones that remain; but never having read any explicit proof that the author didn't profess Christianity, I chose to give them the benefit of the doubt.) Hope that helps somewhat!


message 25: by Nonners (new)

Nonners Yeah, like any thing from Deeanne Gist? I have my doubts too.


message 26: by Werner (new)

Werner I'm not personally familiar with Gist, but William Faulkner is very doubtful in this respect; I don't remember any of the other names offhand. (Thornton Wilder was a very liberal Congregationalist, and Louisa May Alcott a conservative Unitarian, but they both considered themselves Christians.) Maybe later, someone with time to spare can write down all the questionable entries, and do some research on them!


message 27: by Nonners (new)

Nonners Being a "Christian" has become a trend...so why not the literature??? Ugh...frustrates me to no end. Good for you!


message 28: by Werner (new)

Werner In fairness, I think some people add books to this list on the assumption that if an author writes about a religious or Biblical theme, then he/she must be a Christian. Of course, we know that isn't true; over the years, a lot of non-Christian writers have been interested in writing about "religious" subjects! (That doesn't make their work "Christian fiction." :-) )


message 29: by Nonners (new)

Nonners You have point that I didn't think about. Sometimes I do that; pick up a book in the "inspirational" section only to find out it pretty much trash.


message 30: by Werner (new)

Werner Re the discussion above, since last month I've had a chance to do some Google searching on Faulkner's background. It turns out that the question of his religion, if any, has been raised before; and the evidence that he had any is pretty well nil. True, he was raised in what Flannery O'Connor famously called the "Christ-haunted" South; his writing reflects the role of religion in Southern life, and he acknowledged the Old Testament as a literary influence. But though he was married in a Presbyterian church and buried from a Episcopal one, and may have been an inactive nominal member of the latter (though the documentation even for that isn't clear), there's no indication that this was accompanied by any personal belief on his part. Had he been hauled into court by some 20th-century Nero and charged with being a Christian, it doesn't seem that there would have been any case against him. :-)

Accordingly, I've deleted Requiem for a Nun from this list. Unless somebody has a convincing objection, I'll stand on that decision.


message 31: by Nonners (new)

Nonners Haha. Nice research. Way to take the time.


message 32: by Werner (new)

Werner Thanks, Nonners!


message 33: by Carissa (new)

Carissa Somebody please explain to me why twilight is in a list of Christian fiction novels?


message 34: by Nonners (new)

Nonners Seriously?!? I didn't even see that!! Is it new???


message 35: by Krystalin (new)

Krystalin Just thought I'd add a few thoughts that went through my head as I went throught the list.

First, I also felt that quite a few books didn't belong in this list since it is called "Christian Fiction". I thought that meant fiction written with a christian viewpoint and with elements of christian beliefs. As Carissa pointed out, I was surprised to see not just twilight, but the "twilight books" on this list. These stories are (though I haven't read them, friends have and the movies are rather popular)basically the chronicles of a love between a human girl and a vampire.

Secondly, I have read "the Shack" and though I don't completely agree with the way the author depicted God and his theology is a little controversial, I enjoyed it and it also gave me a lot of food for thought. Regardless of my personal take on God differing a little from the author's, it is an awesome book and a very good attempt to answer some really hard questions. I would recommend it to anyone. =)

There is a book I recently read called "The Rain from God" by Mark Ammerman which would make a great addition to this list.


message 36: by Werner (new)

Werner Krystalin, I read a favorable review of The Rain from God in Library Journal back in 1997, but I've never read it. You can add that (or any other) book to this list yourself, if you want to!

Do you object to having the Twilight books on this list because of they deal with a vampire/human love story, or because the author is a Mormon? (Or for both reasons?) I don't know if my novel Lifeblood is on this list or not (I've never put it here); but it also has a vampire/human romance plot, and certainly is "written with a Christian viewpoint and with elements of Christian beliefs." (Or are you suggesting that this is an impossibility for a literary work that deals with vampires?) As for the Mormon aspect, I have serious problems with Mormon theology, particularly the belief in salvation by baptism, good works and group membership rather than by faith in the atoning death of Christ on the cross. But since Mormons typically regard themselves as Christians, I'm not entirely comfortable, as a Goodreads librarian, with taking it on myself to purge books by Mormons from a list like this. I feel that it would be more appropriate to let the list's creator define the scope of "Christian" as she understood it for list purposes. (The issue is a bit different, to my mind, than the one that's posed by a secular author who has/had no apparent religious beliefs at all.)


message 37: by Krystalin (new)

Krystalin Werner, to be honest, I didn't even know the author was Mormon. =) I just basically classified as "Christian Fiction" books that were really good read but at the end of the day left you with something to take away that came directly from teachings of the Bible. I guess something like 'moral' stories that were not 'in your face' types of things. And yes, I guess I've always felt that vampires belonged to the 'devil' so to speak. Hope I didn't offend anyone as I guess they are not real anyway. =)
That is not to say that I don't enjoy movies with vampires in them and am really rigid in my beliefs. So I guess you're right that it is within the rights of the creator of the list to put what she feels is 'Christian fiction' on the list. I guess I am a rather conservative Christian that way - in categorizing books, I mean. Also, I agree with your take on Mormon theology per se but as you said, they categorize themselves as Christian so..
Anyway, thanks for the comments. Feel free to comment on anything I've said here as well. =)
P.S. I'm not sure how to add anything to the list. =)


message 38: by Werner (last edited Aug 21, 2011 04:22PM) (new)

Werner Krystalin, to add books to a list, click on the "add books to this list" button that will be near the top of the list page itself. That will bring up a screen that shows you the titles of all the books on your own shelves, with the option of scrolling that list and clicking a "vote for this book" button beside each one that you want to add. Or, you can use a search window at the top of this screen to do searches for individual books, with the result list then coming up with the same button. That's usually faster, IMO, though I think each time you add a book that way you have to go back and click "add books to this list" again to add another one.

Yes, as you noted, vampires aren't real anyway. But the vampire mythos has features that lend itself rather well to Christian symbolism (the vampire's fear of the cross and Christian religious objects, for instance). Though Bram Stoker himself wasn't necessarily a Christian, his classic vampire Dracula clearly serves as a Satan symbol; and the spiritual tug-of-war between him and loyal son of the Church Dr. Van Helsing for the soul of Mina Harker (bitten --but not yet turned) symbolizes the real spiritual struggle of each individual human that determines if he/she will side with God or the devil. In much modern Christian vampire fiction, vampirism itself is a symbol or metaphor for sin, but in keeping with the more modern treatment of vampires as free moral agents capable of choices about how they handle their condition, they aren't necessarily seen as being beyond redemption themselves (which I think testifies more forcefully to the redemptive power of the gospel for the worst of us than the traditional portrayal did). Meyer handles the spiritual issues of vampirism in still a different way (and actually avoids direct religious references or symbolism); but her series does have messages about chastity, family, responsibility to others, moral choices, etc. that are very compatible with Biblical teachings --and she's endured virulent abuse from intolerant secularist reviewers, both on and off Goodreads, for exactly that reason. Just some ideas to consider! :-)


message 39: by Carly (new)

Carly I absolutely love the Twilight series, but I would also say they don't belong on a "Christian Fiction" list. Yes, the books contain moral messages, but that does not mean they are Christian stories. There is nothing about Christ in her series, nothing about salvation. If there were a list called "Great Moral Stories with some Spirituality Aspects," sure, I'd put her books on there. But not a specific religion.


message 40: by Carlos (new)

Carlos Screw Twilight in general! The only list it deserves to be on is the worst of all books. In my opinion -.-


message 41: by Kasey (new)

Kasey Jonathan wrote: "But if it's Mormon then it's not Christian. Though it certainly is fictional (in part)."

Agreed!!!


message 42: by Kasey (new)

Kasey Adam wrote: "I had no idea that C.S. Lewis wrote so many books. I love The Chronichles of Narnia.
I heard about The Shack. Is it any good?"


The Bible and the Shack have totally different views on the Trinity. So I don't like the Shack at all.


message 43: by Beth (new)

Beth Beason Laura wrote: "Why did you put the Bible on this list?"

Its a book I love to read and recommend


message 44: by Beth (new)

Beth Beason Kasey wrote: "Adam wrote: "I had no idea that C.S. Lewis wrote so many books. I love The Chronichles of Narnia.
I heard about The Shack. Is it any good?"

The Bible and the Shack have totally different view..."

It's FICTION and I loved it.


message 45: by Werner (new)

Werner Beth, the Bible is a book I love to read and recommend too, so I hear you. However, I didn't put ALL the books I love to read and recommend onto this particular list. In order to make the lists useful for reference, you have to sort of go by the guidelines for each one when you're deciding what to list. :-)


message 46: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan "It's FICTION and I loved it."

Beth, not quite sure what you mean by this argument.

I think I understand what you're trying to point to, you're trying to say that William Young was only attempting to use metaphors to convey realities (or his views on) about the 3 persons of the Godhead.

But it is not fair to claim that William was only imagining God and thus we should not pay attention to the imaginings in the Shack. People have read this book and thought, "Wow, I really like those thoughts, those imaginings on God. I think William is right." William used Fiction as a means to communicate his views of God. This is why it is weird why so many Christians love this book. Because the book shows a very different god from the God in the Bible.

The metaphors William uses are inaccurate and almost totally do away with the transcendence and Holiness of God. Focusing exclusively on love the author of the Shack does away with God's anger towards evil. But the Bible shows us a God who is terribly angry with our evil (He is holy), because we have turned our backs on God and chosen to live OUR way instead. We are traitors. And traitors deserve to die.

This, then, is why the love of God in Christ is SO AMAZING! because only the death of His Son, who is God, could pay for our evil and bring us into the love of God. So God has loved us.

But William Young disregards the Holiness of God to focus completely on the love of God. So now there is neither true love nor true holiness in William's portrayal of God. And without holiness there is no need for us to repent, turn away from our evil, and follow God.

So yes, it is Fiction, but William was attempting to portray his views on the Trinity, on God, and etc. And William's portrayal did not do justice to the reality of the Holy and truly loving God. Instead, William destroys, almost completely, the need for the cross at Calvary. And, thus, we no longer have any need to repent and turn away from our evil.

But this is a hopeless message and a truly love-less message.

We need the Holy and Loving Jesus of the Bible, not the limp-wristed-everything-is-just-okay jesus of the Shack.

Romans 8 is a great little treatise on what God has done for us in Christ. It also talks about those who live in the old ways and those who live in Jesus. It says that those who live for their desires, instead of God's desires, will die. William Young does not seem to understand this. And this is why the Shack is dangerous. I have many friends who don't care about Jesus at all and what the Bible says about them is scary. But if I believe the Bible then I have to believe it. I can't just cover my eyes and pretend. That would be unloving. Instead, I pray for them and I talk with them about Jesus, about God, because He is the only hope we (they) have.

God bless.


message 47: by Werner (new)

Werner Jonathan, thank you for sharing your thoughts! I read your post above and your review of The Shack. You've obviously put a lot of thought into your position, and already considered the counterarguments and don't find them convincing, so I'm not trying to change your opinion by writing some brilliant argument (in my experience, that's not what usually changes opinions, anyway). As a Christian who gave this book a five-star rating, though, I think it might be worthwhile to offer a different perspective to readers who haven't made up their minds about the book yet.

It was clear to me in my reading of the book that Young believes both that sin separates humans from God and that the cross of Christ was the essential remedy for sin, Christ mercifully taking the sinner's penalty. This is stated explicitly, for instance, on pp. 164-5: "He doesn't stop a lot of things that cause Him pain. Your world is severely broken. You demanded your independence, and now you are angry with the one who loved you enough to give it to you. Nothing is as it should be, as Papa desires it to be, and as it will be one day. Right now your world is lost in darkness and chaos.... He chose the way of the cross where mercy triumphs over justice because of love. Would you instead prefer he'd chosen justice for everyone?" And again on p. 225: "Forgiveness does not establish relationship. In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship." Obviously, this reflects an Arminian rather than Calvinist understanding of the Bible, but I believe the former is the correct one. Just as clearly, Young stresses the love of God more than His wrath; his entire emphasis is on God's desire to redeem the sinner, and the fact that He still loves the sinner. Obviously, this is a different emphasis than, say, that of Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", where we read statements like, "The God that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked... you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours," and so forth. Yet if I had to choose which emphasis more faithfully reflects the Biblical picture of God, I would have to say Young's, not least because of John's dictum that "God is love." No, that isn't tantamount to the reverse, "Love is God." But it does clearly express the concept that the essential quality of God's nature, which includes the essential quality of His holiness, is perfect love --including love for the unlovely. Significantly, he doesn't say "God IS wrath" (nor that "wrath is God"). Neither the Bible nor The Shack teach a fairy tale of universal salvation. But they do emphasize that in Christ, God has removed the barrier to salvation for every man and woman who will take it.

A final word on the theological significance of fiction. Yes, it's fair to expect Christian fiction not to directly promote theological misunderstanding. But I submit that it's not fair to expect any work of fiction to present content equivalent to a textbook of systematic theology, and I've never read one that does. The Shack is more idea-driven than most fiction; but I think even Young would say that it's not intended to be the equivalent of an exhaustive non-fiction summary of every article of theology that he holds.


message 48: by Sheero (new)

Sheero OK seriously, David Copperfield is not a Christian book


message 49: by Werner (new)

Werner Charles Dickens was a professed Christian who prayed every morning and night, regarded Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior (according to his own explicit statement on several occasions, including in his will), and the author of The Life of Our Lord: Written for His Children During the Years 1846 to 1849. He was not what we would call a fundamentalist, since he had Unitarian leanings (though he was nominally Anglican), distrusted creedal formulations, and was apparently a theistic evolutionist. It's arguable, however, that one can be a Christian without being a fundamentalist, or without having perfect theology. (For a fuller discussion of Dickens' religious beliefs, see www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1990/issue27/273... .)

Whether or not David Copperfield qualifies as "Christian fiction" depends on how you define that. It is not, certainly, a novel that focuses on explicitly Christian/religious themes. It is, though, fiction written from a basically Christian understanding of life and ethics; that is to say, a Christian worldview. In that sense, IMO, it can be considered "Christian fiction."


message 50: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Wright Christian Fiction should be exactly how it's categorized by the publisher. You don't want to deceive people looking for Christian Fiction. Just because an author is Christian, doesn't mean they write Christian Fiction. :-)
By the way, I'm honored my book TWISTED ROOTS was nominated. June 19 is the official release, but I do sell personal pre-released signed copies on my web site. Very exciting!


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