NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: portraying faith in fiction.
Claire Gibson is a self-described Army brat who grew up around West Point. Her father was a professor there.
She drew on that experience for her debut novel, Beyond The Point. It’s a story of three women who forge a life-long friendship in the crucible of cadet training.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: On this week’s Listening In, host Warren Smith talks to the author about the book and her writing process. Although Gibson’s a Christian, her book is not, by category, a Christian book. In this excerpt, they talk about how difficult it is to portray faith with authenticity.
SMITH: One of the things that you don’t do in this book is that you don’t have that conversion moment, at least not overtly. And I think that’s where so much Christian fiction goes awry, where maybe they might have a bad character, but then you got to get them saved at the end. Right? And, and if you don’t get them saved somehow, it’s not legitimate or valid or whatever. Was that a conscious choice for you?
GIBSON: It was, you know, I became a Christian at a very young age. I was 6 years old. I don’t remember a conversion moment in my life. However, I do look back on the course of my life and my faith. It wasn’t one moment in time where I knew that I knew that I knew that Jesus loved me. You know, my faith has been like an ocean wave that at times feels very far out and distant and at times feels very close up. And I can hear, you know, the closeness of the Lord, like the waves. You know, I don’t believe for me that my faith has ever felt like a light switch going on or off. It has felt more like, you know, that ebb and flow. And, and I think that’s true of most other people that I talk to and, and life circumstances really impact where I am with the Lord.
I think it would be unfair to these characters to diminish faith into that one little moment when the reality is it’s way deeper and way more complex than just that one moment.