Monday, February 13, 2012

Sharing Faith in Fiction: The Challenge by Sharon Hinck

Dear Christian writer, are you ever challenged by your faith thread? Sharon Hinck is here this month with a series on sharing your faith in your writing. Read on! ~ Annette

The Challenge* 
by Sharon Hinck

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:15-16)

Your mouth turns dry, sweat pricks your forehead, and you lean on the backyard fence with a sudden awareness that your next words could make a huge difference. Your neighbor has shared a painful struggle she is facing. Clearing your throat, you manage to say, “I’ll pray for you.” Should you say more? Should you offer words of assurance of God’s love, or will that sound trite? Maybe invite her to come to church with you? Or will that seem pushy?

Sharing our faith isn’t always easy in real life, so it’s no surprise that expressing our faith within the art form of the novel can also be challenging.

I shared my thoughts about this challenge in an introductory essay about the power of fiction in the book, “A Novel Idea.”

“As Christians, we constantly struggle to utter the unutterable. We long to share concepts beyond our human ability to understand—the transcendence of God’s holiness, the potency of forgiveness, the depth of God’s love for us. Fiction helps us find ways to express those truths of magnitude because it is relatable, symbolic, and engages the emotion – unique qualities that make it a vital art form.”

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*This article is an excerpt from Sharon Hinck's ACFW course on Sharing Faith in Fiction. Used with permission. Next week, this series continues with Part II.
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The Restorer-Expanded Edition

Susan Mitchell thought she was an ordinary homemaker. She was wrong. When she’s pulled through a portal into another world, she finds a nation grappling for its soul and waiting for a promised Restorer to save their people.

She has always longed to do something important for God, but can she fill this role?

While she struggles to adapt to a foreign culture, she tackles an enemy that is poisoning the minds of the people, uncovers a corrupt ruling Council, and learns that God can use even her floundering attempts at service in surprising ways.

This new expanded edition of The Restorer includes an in-depth devotion guide for readers who want to dig into the spiritual themes of the book, bonus scenes providing glimpses of the story through a variety of characters, and fun extras including links to songs and recipes.

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Sharon writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary people experiencing God’s grace in unexpected ways. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include contemporary fiction such as The Secret Life of Becky Miller or Stepping into Sunlight and the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric fantasy series which includes The Restorer–Expanded Edition. She’s been a Christy finalist and won three Carol awards.

Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication. When she isn’t wrestling with words, Sharon enjoys speaking to conferences, retreats, and church groups. She loves interacting with visitors at her website and blog: sharonhinck.com

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