Novels are stories. But novelists can use fiction to illustrate eternal truths, just as Jesus did with the parables. The best novels are those where those eternal truths are woven in so well that we remember them, and they positively influence the way we live our future lives.
So what novel has influenced me the most, and why?
There are many. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti opened my eyes to the reality of spiritual warfare.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers exposed the human cost of lust and greed, and showed the everlasting love of God.
And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers showed the danger of putting spiritual leaders on a pedestal. This was written during the excesses of the 1980s teleevangelists, but needs to be reread in the light of our social media and reality TV culture.
Marcus’s mother in An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers showed me how we all have a purpose in live, no matter our situation.
Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon reminded me life isn’t always black or white, right or wrong, male or female.
Grace in Strange Disguise by Christine Dillon reminded me that Christianity isn’t a free pass to an easy life.
Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter showed for the illustration of God’s sacrificial love.
The list could co on …