A Vision for Writing

Back when blogging was cool (it’s been a few years, I know), the big piece of advice for people starting out was always to find your niche and stick to it. Unfortunately for me, I got into blogging late and I didn’t have a niche. I wanted to write about everything under the sun. Then I started my new website about my published writing and guess what? I don’t have a niche there either.

I’ve been published nearly 20 times since my first article in 2000 (mostly full list here), with most of those articles coming in the last three years. I’ve written about my daughter’s hospital stay, praying for the military, theology, and churches in action. I’ve even written about writing! If that isn’t a wide smattering of topics, I don’t know what is!

What ties almost all of those stories together, however, is an honest desire to see the gospel go out and be fruitful. When I wrote about multisite churches presenting a consistent gospel message in June (read it here), and the accompanying blog post (here), I wrote with the mind that the gospel message is important, so how do I confirm that the God’s word will not return void at these churches?

It’s questions like that that motivate me. I hope they motivate you too. If we, who are believers, begin to ask ourselves if our actions further the gospel, or take away from it, I think we’ll be better off, and so will God’s church. For example, I’ve curtailed my science fiction writing to where it barely exists. Mostly, it’s just for fun now when I’m struggling with writer’s block. Why? Because most of those stories didn’t further the gospel message and bring glory to God. They were neutral, for the most part, and that isn’t good enough anymore. So, even though I had a dream of being a sci-fi writer in addition to my Christian writing, it’s much less of a priority for me now, if it is at all.

I want to hear from you! If you’re a budding writer yourself, if a piece touches you, if a piece angers you, or you just want to reach out, write me at dan@navychristian.org. My writing gets better if I know what people think of it. So don’t hesitate to write me!

Remember, God’s message of salvation is key to just about everything in life. I’m just here to write about it!

2 thoughts on “A Vision for Writing

  1. Thought provoking. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that your writing requires an overt gospel message/context/topic in order to further the gospel, which is the goal of all Christians.

    I think we would both agree that a lot of fiction has been published in the last 30 years under the “Christian” label that does more harm that good for the spreading of the gospel, ESPECIALLY in the women/romance genre!

    You’ve opened the door to some intriguing questions. Does the goal of spreading the gospel require that writing be overtly Christian or can it reveal the gospel without every mentioning the Bible, Christ, or God? Going a step further, is it possible to influence others for Christ and display the gospel message in ANY work place or vocation without overtly evangelizing, or even subtly evangelizing with Christian email footers or artwork or t-shirts?

    I suggest that it is possible. Consider CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien and their fantasy works “The Narnia Chronicles” and “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy. Neither mentions Jesus, but the sacrifice of Aslan on Table Rock is incredibly compelling! And the concept of a small sin producing immense corruption and consequences is beautifully illustrated through Frodo and The Ring.

    While “clean” secular fiction may not cause any one to say a sinner’s prayer, can it influence the reader to seek God/Jesus? To see something in the author that’s different and want to know more? In a sense, can secular fiction written by a Christian author be a “gateway” to salvation and discipleship?

    By no means I’m I suggesting that you must write secular sci-fi, though your pieces that I’ve read have been good! I think this is one of those issues that every Christian writer must wrestle through with God. The final question is what message does God have for me to write NOW?


    1. Stephanie, you always bring up good points! I’m sure some folks have been saved by CS Lewis, etc, somehow, but unless they heard the actual gospel message later, Aslan is just a good story. In the end, nothing I write, or anyone else writes, for that matter, does any good unless it actually presents the gospel. I recently read a book by Lisa Sampson called Runaway Saint. Nothing wrong with it (except she wrote Judson Taylor instead of Hudson Taylor, the famed missionary), but it wasn’t gospel. Yet it was a Christian book, so to speak.

      In fact, I just got a piece rejected today. It only runs 1200 words, but the editor said I took too long to get to the faith element. Looking back on my writing for that piece, I’m disappointed because I should have known that. I guess the vision isn’t perfect yet, though over time I can get there.

      You’re thoughts on me writing sci-fi are a blessing. I’m grateful for friends like you. You’ve given me a lot to think about.


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