There are a lot of Christian books that don't qualify as literature, and many books legitimately called literature that are in no way Christian. While this category may seem a bit redundant for a bookstore like ours, Christian Literature is simply our way of telling the two apart. Only books that are both literary and explicitly Christian (or at least authored by self-professed orthodox Christians) are included here.
Books that don't qualify include Christian genre fiction, books for younger readers, stories that are merely moral without expressing specific Christian truths, and the like. Books that do qualify include spiritual autobiographies and memoirs, high-quality Christian novels (think Dostoevsky and G.K. Chesterton), classics of the faith, etc.
If you're looking for doctrine, theology, Bible curriculum, or materials of that sort, we have other categories named accordingly. The titles here are intentionally selected to reflect work that is universally accepted for its stylistic quality, while simultaneously reflecting a Christian worldview, sometimes explicitly and sometimes through allegory. Both fiction and nonfiction are represented.
But why Christian literature? For one thing, part of our goal at Exodus Books is to help families and individuals think biblically about every aspect of life; art (particularly good art) can help in this regard by applying Christian principles to the universal elements of human experience, activities and feelings with which all of us are familiar but few think about.
Another reason for Christian literature as a category is to help readers recognize the often overlooked presence of genuinely Christian writing that is also genuinely honest and realistic. Too often "Christian" books are filled with sunshine, impossibly resolved situations, or simply positive messages that ignore the presence of sin, despair, and fear in the world. These books are not like that.
The Brothers Karamazov, for instance, is very Christian, but it also takes seriously the atheist's dilemma, the fact of evil, and the presence of tribulation in the life of believers. St. Augustine's Confessions reveals a man running from God before surrending himself wholly to the Holy Spirit; the essays of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton are pithy, funny, and perceptive; Martin Luther's Bondage of the Will is historically and theologically significant (and also makes excellent devotional reading).
All of these books are sometimes dark, sometimes lighthearted, always filled with the grace of Jesus. We don't necessarily endorse every idea you'll find in any of these titles, but we do heartily endorse the authors' desire to create beautiful works that illuminate God and our world from the perspective of the redeeming love and justice of Christ.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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