Friday, October 26, 2007

Violence in Christian Fiction - Day 2

John 19:32-34 (New International Version)

The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

I'm talking about violence in Christian fiction right now, and already there's some lively discussion in the comments section for Day 1. Be sure to check those out.

I reviewed the book Illuminated this week, and it prompted this line of thinking. I want to reiterate that I am not trying to pick on it - just using it as an example. And to be fair today I want to show that there are other examples of violence and gore out there that can easily fall into this dialogue.

Perhaps the author who belongs here more could be Robert Liparulo. His first two books are known for slam bang action and some pretty intense scenes. His first book, Comes a Horseman, had the scene that inspired this post from Publisher's Weekly's religion editor. His next book Germ had a special type of bullet that ripped people apart when shot with it, along with a designer virus that liquefied the victim's internal organs. Had I received his latest book Deadfall before Illuminated, it may have inspired this topic, as the first chapter vividly describes a man getting immolated. And that's only as far as I've gotten currently - there may be more examples lurking!

Ted Dekker is one of the major players in the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) and has written numerous best-selling novels. I haven't read many of his books, but Showdown has some memorable scenes. When the book starts out with a vision of a man's eye getting poked and pulled out by the antagonist, that will catch your attention!

One of my favorite books from last year was Plague Maker from Tim Downs. Most of the suspense is psychological, but one intense moment has a character disemboweled. Only one small paragraph, but enough to use as another example.

I had a couple other examples in mind yesterday, but my head is full of mucous today, so my thoughts are a little stringy. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of books giving an intensity to their stories with sometimes graphic imagery. If anyone can think of other examples, list it in the comment section. Monday I'll hopefully have a free brain, and can bring out some other thoughts on this subject.

Fire away!


  1. I will say this about the article by Jana Riess. Leave the violence against women thing out of it. That's a moot point. Women are the easiest victims. Hellooo.

    I mean, come on. Most of us are not FBI agents, soldiers, or cops. There are a few physically strong or well-trained women who can adequately defend themselves, but most of us cannot. Women will always be the easiest victims.

    And if the lady had read the entire novel, she would know the violence wasn't particular to women in Comes A Horseman or in any of Liparulo's novels.

  2. Mucous in your head?? Ewww...disgusting! How come this blog doesn't come with a warning? Some kid could be reading stuff like that...


  3. Mark,
    I'm in medicine - I can give MUCH MORE GRAPHIC details on mucous. I can have you writhing...