Should a Christian Novelist Engage Postmodernism’s Ideas and Techniques?

INovelMatters discussion, we seven novelists — and several guests — sparred about whether or how to engage postmodernism in our novels.  Do we use some of the outward characteristics such as the elimination of quotation marks in dialogue?  Do we engage their ideas?  One person made a comment saying that addressing non-Biblical ideas got the children of Israel into trouble. I invite you to see the whole discussion at the site, but here’s one of my responses:

Part of the delight I’m feeling in reading everyone’s comments is the stimulation of ideas. 

I’ve spent years writing Bible studies (published by Zondervan, 21st Century Christian, and Covenant) in which I was very strict with myself, not using any outside commentaries or non-Biblical source except for an occasional apt quote. So I passionately agree with what Jennifer and Nichole say. The Bible deserves not only to be understood as THE representation of the mind of God to humans, but demands that Christians always portray it as vastly superior to any other system of thought. 

That was the apostle Peter’s stance. If you read his writings and sermons, he doesn’t dabble in any other thought forms. He’s Jewish at the core, Christian with a passion.

But Paul did. In his sermon on Mars hill, he pointed to an altar and said in essence, “I’m going to engage you with the symbols and ideas that you have, and I’m going to interact with them.”

As a Christian novelist, I believe I have a sacred trust to correctly represent how God thinks in my fiction. I want to draw people to images, symbols, and ideas that have their source in the Bible, which is our solid representation of His mind. But I also take the example of Paul, who did indeed interact with thought forms and the thinkers who espoused them, using their symbols, and their language, to explain things clearly to them.

What do you think?

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