Culture > Q&A

Truth teller

"Truth teller" Continued...

Issue: "2013 Daniel of the Year," Dec. 14, 2013

You dislike books that make it seem as if trust in Jesus means everything in your life will be easier. You wrote, “Christianity doesn’t teach that once you become a believer, life gets easier. It teaches the opposite—that Jesus says it’s going to get harder.” Jesus said we’ll have many problems in our life, but He has overcome them. We Christians struggle with things, but we know where to take our problems, so we have hope. In his book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton said, “Christians are more optimistic than the optimist and more pessimistic than the pessimist.” 

Are non-Christian books and movies more often either manic or depressant? Some movies and books say life is just terrible now: Slit your wrists. Disney on the other hand is: Follow your dreams and everything will be wonderful in the end. This whole idea of follow your heart—that’s not Christian either. Rapists follow their hearts. Pedophiles are true to themselves. Nazis pursued their dreams. The Bible says that the heart’s deceitful above all things. Why would you want to follow something deceitful? We believe you should follow something greater than your heart, that you need Someone else to inform your dreams. We turn to God. 

'We believe you should follow something greater than your heart, that you need Someone else to inform your dreams.'

You want to bring glory to God by telling the truth. By showing the hopelessness and helplessness of humans, and the hope that’s available.

Readers often object to violence, sex, and bad language. You pass that test on two out of three. I don’t use coarse language in my books and haven’t written any sex scenes. My wife says, “If you ever wrote a sex scene in your book, that would make me really uncomfortable because you only have one person to take your information from.”

Would you ever write a sex scene? If it worked to have a sex scene where it was vital to the story, I would write that. I don’t want to needlessly offend people, but I also want to tell stories with as much honesty as possible. And it’s difficult, because people in law enforcement don’t just say, “Oh shucks.” If they’re tracking a serial killer, they don’t say, “Oh phooey, we didn’t catch him.” So how do you render the honesty of what would happen, but do it in a way that doesn’t offend your readers? I struggle with that.

Watch Marvin Olasky’s complete interview with Steven James:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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