What Do We Mean By "Clean" Christian Novels?
Posted by Jason McIntire | Mar 02, 2013
When talking about our books, we often mention the word "clean" - but that term connotes different things for different people. While we can't speak for what it means to anyone else, we can tell you what it means to us. This short list of guidelines is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you a pretty good idea of the standard we use for our writing.
- Freedom from any sort of profanity. No euphemisms, spoonerisms, or abbreviations. No hash marks or blanks that immediately bring a particular word to mind. In some cases, we may state that a character swore or used bad language. In this we take our example from the Bible: In Leviticus 24:11, Moses records that a certain man "blasphemed the Name of the Lord, and cursed" - but he does not find it necessary to repeat the exact words the man used. Readers get the idea.
- Good humor with purpose. In Ephesians 5:4, Paul exhorts us to avoid "jesting." This KJV term could also be translated as vulgarity for the purpose of entertainment. Like any of God's creations, humor can be put to right or wrong use. Employed well, it can be harmless or even a great tool for good. We love clever remarks and funny stories - with a purposeful point, and without resort to the lowest common denominator.
- Realism without sensationalism. The fallen world is a rough place, and even in children's stories, it is sometimes appropriate to touch on its rougher side. We don't, however, find it necessary to make those elements part of the entertainment. It is quite possible to write a realistic, exciting story without making the reader's skin crawl, and to convey serious ideas without painting unhealthy mental pictures.
- A godly perspective on human relationships. Our stories focus on the one Relationship from which all others should flow - each person's individual relationship with God. All other relationships are viewed through this lens, and are presented in a tasteful, innocent way that is edifying for all ages.
- Consistent affirmation of the Bible. We believe that the Bible is absolutely true. Everything we write emanates from this conviction, and thus serves to reinforce the reader's faith in the foundation of that faith, God's Word.
- Positive adult role models. God created the role of parents, in part, to show children something of Himself (Deu. 8:5). Just as real Christian parents should strive to set a good example for their children, so we strive to set a good example through our fictional characters. And if you think your children don't imitate fictional characters, listen in on their playtime after they've just watched a superhero movie.
If the above sounds like your own definition of "clean," Elisha Press Christian novels might be a great fit for your family. You can get our titles free for your e-book reader, or purchase softcover editions with free shipping to the USA.