Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why aren't there more maulings at Christian book conventions?

Why aren’t there more maulings at Christian book conventions?

Writing a book about God should be a terrifying experience, but based on the number of new Christian books that come out each year, it’s not for most people. I don’t know how they do it. For me, trying to capture God on paper or frame the creator of the universe in some sort of metaphor for a book is a fairly ridiculous exercise. When I asked God if he was cool with an analogy I was thinking about using to explain his love, it felt like I was asking a hurricane whether crayons or markers would best capture its might.

And what if I’m wrong? What if what I’m writing isn’t what God wants people to think about him? What if that concept I’m exploring is just an outward expression of my massive ego, not a call to write a book from the Lord? That’s dangerous stuff. Christ couldn’t stand people that did that in the New Testament. He was always raging against the ways the Pharisees misrepresented God. And so many Christian books do that every year.

Sometimes, when people got out of line in the Old Testament, God would simply send a few lions to kill them. I wonder if in my generation we’ll ever see a pack of lions get loose at a Christian book convention. They’ll just be running between booths at the trade show of new titles, picking up the books and skimming through with massive paws.

“Ugh, this book is horrible. Seriously, what did you spend an hour writing this before you tried to make some money off it? And are a third of these ideas evident in your own life.” Hack author would then get mauled.* (If these literary lions can stand on their hind legs and flip through books, I’m assuming they can talk too.)

The other thing about writing a book about God is that eventually you’re held accountable for it. That’s not true about any other subject in the world. A volleyball will never get mad at you if you write a sucky book on how to play the game. Cats will never strike you with lightning if you misrepresent the relationship you have with yours in a book. But God is different. If you half-heartedly extend a Christian fiction series passed where it was meant to go just because you want more money, or write about a certain way of Godly living that is secretly not evident in your own life, then God’s going to ask you about that. You’ll have to answer to God just like I have to answer to God. That’s a terrifying proposition. Or it should be anyway.

*That’s the second idea I’ve written about lately that involves mauling. If there’s a third, please hold some sort of “mauling intervention” for me.

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