Since we discuss both Christian fiction and God here, can we take a few minutes to discuss the problem with critical Christians? Hear me out here. I see no problem with reviewers telling the truth about their preferences in reading. Each individual who engages in voicing his/her opinion about a novel which didn’t meet the personal standard set by the reader—whatever it might be—must decide how to relate the disappointment. When making public disclosures, it would seem there’d be an unspoken guarantee that a Christian would be tactful and respectful of the author’s efforts even when the story doesn’t appeal or the writing is unimpressive. If a person reads a novel, he/she is entitled to an opinion of the book.
I’ve given a few bad reviews because I honestly felt the novels were sub-par. I’ve also given some reviews where I held back most of my opinion because I recognized the novels would be favorites for their specific targeted audiences. It’s hard to fault an author for delivering the type of novel which speaks directly to those people who are expecting exactly what they’re going to get.
The problem which has surfaced and which I faced specifically with one of my “bad” reviews is the response of those readers who disagree with the reviewer’s opinion of the book. Apparently some Christians can get quite ugly in voicing their objections to those who don’t like the same books as them. Or other Christians who don’t like a novel criticize the author and question the author’s salvation. I’m told some of these bitter discussions take place on Amazon.com for all the world to see. Isn’t that special?
No one has to like a book. It’s true. I expect some brutality can show up in assessments given by those “in the world”. I expect honesty laced with respect from a Christian who doesn’t like a story and decides to give an opinion. And I expect other Christians who disagree with a reader’s assessment of a novel to either be silent or express their opposing opinions with class and regard for both the author and the reviewer. It should go without saying, shouldn’t it?
I’m just sayin’ . . .
Father, help us to be more like Jesus. Dying to self. Daily. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.