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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What is a discerning reader?

"A story for discerning readers." This was something that I wrote as part of the original marketing material for my first novel. In my mind I was trying to catch the eyes of conservative Christians who should "discern" that my book was wholesome. However, many people were confused by that phrase and, in fact, took it to mean that my novel contained material not suitable for many readers... So I disposed of that marketing line in favor of a more simple approach! But to this day I still am creating books for discerning readers.

While it is not possible have an ideal human culture in this present world, I like to look for the things in life that better our society and make us better human beings. We can and we should strive to become the godly culture that leads people toward high ideals of justice, love, and commitment.

That is part of why I write fantasy novels. I can create characters that stand up for what is right no matter the cost to themselves and show the contrast of those who make wrong choices and follow the wrong ideals. Sadly I often fail to meet that ideal in my personal life but I have discovered that the more I look up to those who are stronger than I am spiritually, the better a person I become. And the more I participate in the culture of worldliness when I am away from home, the more I despise that culture and the person it pushes me to become.

The old testament prophets stood out as examples to the people to whom they ministered and led them to desire righteousness. Today we need more than ever to glorify the pursuit of righteousness. Think on those things that are good and noble.

So here is my encouragement to readers everywhere, and to the other writers out there: Put forth the good stories, challenge yourselves with righteous characters, and learn to discern the bad from the good. Do not accept everything at face value; instead analyze the books you read and the entertainment you watch. Do not always drink only the milk, but eat the meat as well. There is right and there is wrong in all of our entertainment, and that is the way it needs to be... so that we can be intelligent in our approach to this Ever Fallen World.

For parents: consider that if you are not teaching your children about the Wrongs in this world, the people in the world will. So teach them to discern with a godly understanding. The world is waiting for your children and it is adept at taking the naïve mind and twisting it toward the devil's path with promises of pleasure. Show them those pleasures for the superficial things they are and the eternal consequences they bring.

Thoughts anyone?


Writer4Christ said...

I very much agree. The Christian website that reviews movies,, likes to say "After all, it's not JUST entertainment."

Scott Appleton said...

Right! We do need to enjoy times of entertainment, but we must train ourselves to accept the right and confront the wrong. And we must teach our children to do so, otherwise they will be little more than couch potatoes.


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.