The Purpose of Christian Books

A number of years ago, I recall listening to a sermon when the preacher spoke about all the problems the Israelites had while traveling through the wilderness for forty years after leaving Egypt. He was semiapologetic for the simplicity of the morning’s lesson.

The Israelites kept forgetting God.

Next time you read the book of Exodus, think about how the Israelites could have walked from Egypt to the Promised Land in a matter of weeks. The shortest distance between Egypt and Canaan is about 400 miles. God had other plans.

Other than the physical challenge, we have it easier than the Israelites in the desert, who had no written Scriptures to carry around as God was “external.” Christ-followers have the Holy Spirit living in them and the complete Holy Scriptures to read, ponder, and remind them of what God has done. Not to mention thousands of new Christian books published every year!

Christian books have a distinct purpose in today’s world and throughout history. What some might call “preaching to the choir” is really “reminding the disciples about who God is and what he has done.” Certainly, the Bible is the greatest example of God reminding us.

The choir is a forgetful group.

An aspect of the church is to remind those in it about certain things every year. Advent is a reminder of Christ’s coming to Earth. Lent reminds us about Christ’s sacrifice. Communion is specifically instituted by Jesus so we “remember.” The entire traditional church calendar is filled with events to recall.

Devotional books teach some readers new things. But for most users, daily readings remind them of truths we tend to set aside in the busyness of life.

Christian fiction might portray a Christ-follower being reminded of something spiritually important they might have forgotten about relationships or life in general.

Bible-study books, while they might illuminate a chapter or book of the Bible and teach new believers, serve as theological Post-it notes in the hands of more mature Christ followers.

For sure, Christian nonfiction books teach; but more often than not, they find a creative way to illuminate familiar, but long-forgotten principles.

I am convinced most Christian books for small children are not only for teaching the child but also for reminding the older person reading them about the greatness of God. (I know someone who came to Christ working in his son’s kindergarten Sunday school class.)

Christian writers don’t always have to find new angles or obscure passages to teach only to be different. You don’t need to find something to write no one has ever done before.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with finding creative and compelling ways to unpack the Sermon on the Mount, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, Genesis 1:1, Psalm 23, John 3:16, or Ephesians 2:8-9. A Christian writer never runs out of material.

Some topics or passages have been done before many times. But generations of believers forget, so we need to be continually reminded why Jesus came and how we should live, among a myriad of other things.

Creative Christian writers have a life-purpose to communicate God’s truth. And a significant portion of it will be writing reminders of something their readers already know, but forgot in the course of living.

19 Responses to The Purpose of Christian Books

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser October 28, 2021 at 3:34 am #

    My poems are not mere blinders
    to shield from hard reality;
    they serve more as reminders
    of what I need to see,
    that even now in deep of night,
    awake to cancer’s pain,
    the unseen glow of morning light
    shows Him faithful to remain
    calm here by my aching side
    to touch my fevered brow,
    and what fell days may betide
    the words I’m writing now
    help bind my heart unto His mast,
    my stalwart Captain to the last.

  2. Jodi Artzberger October 28, 2021 at 5:11 am #

    Amen!

  3. Virginia Sue Graham October 28, 2021 at 5:16 am #

    A great reminder of why we write.

  4. Deena Adams October 28, 2021 at 5:46 am #

    Great post, and I give a hearty amen!!

  5. Desiree Webber October 28, 2021 at 6:11 am #

    Important perspective and advice. Thank you.

  6. Frank October 28, 2021 at 7:07 am #

    Thanks for reminding me of my purpose in writing.

  7. Manahdueah October 28, 2021 at 7:56 am #

    Like the comments before, an excellent summary. Thank you.

  8. Loretta Eidson October 28, 2021 at 9:04 am #

    Thank you for expounding on why we, as Christians, write. Without Christ, I wouldn’t have anyone or anything to write.

  9. Kelly Fordyce Martindale October 28, 2021 at 9:04 am #

    Thank you so much. This is inspiring me to complete a task that I’ve put off. My current project started seeming overdone. This article helped me view it from a different perspective.

  10. Rudi Boshoff October 28, 2021 at 9:10 am #

    Great article Dan, i agree wholeheartedly. It is just a pity that new writers cannot get published as they are “not well known enough”, even if what they write is unique, inspiring, and much needed.

  11. Carol Ashby October 28, 2021 at 12:19 pm #

    Off topic, but Andrew is in horrible pain right now and asked for prayers.

    • Kay DiBianca October 28, 2021 at 1:35 pm #

      Praying for comfort and relief from pain for Andrew.

  12. Elizabeth October 28, 2021 at 1:06 pm #

    Amen! “The choir is a forgetful group.” So true! Thank you for this post.

  13. Jean Hall October 28, 2021 at 4:58 pm #

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now, if only publishing houses believed this.

  14. Diana Derringer October 29, 2021 at 7:31 am #

    Thanks for the reminder about the need for reminders.

  15. Gordon Palmer October 29, 2021 at 9:24 am #

    Thank you for that encouragement Dan, and the reminder of why continued writing, even on the same topics, is needed generation to generation.

  16. Glynis October 30, 2021 at 6:33 am #

    So well said. I did need that reminder!

  17. Sheila Marie Diehl October 30, 2021 at 2:34 pm #

    I am a Christian writer author but am struggling with not knowing how to write a chapter in my novel and grammar in the dark
    I believe that God gave me a great idea but can anyone help me find information or a book that can help me with these things

  18. OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU October 31, 2021 at 11:52 pm #

    Very true. As a christian writer myself, I don’t set out consciously to ‘teach’or ‘remind’ other people and believers some facts about Christian life, faith and the purpose of Christ coming to Earth. My stories have christian characters whose lives reflect all of that. But it is great reading this post and being made conscious of the fact that christian writing is like an evengelical tool we serve to God as a Christian writer. God bless you for this post Dan!

Get New Posts by Email

Get New Posts by Email

Each article is packed with helpful info and encouragement for writers. You can unsubscribe at any time with one click. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!