Chris, I think you brought up a good thought, and one that I have struggled with for a long time. I used to, and still do sometimes, feel guilty when I read a lot of secular books and not many Christian ones. This might be just because I have a guilty conscience. But a lot of the secular books, especially in young adult, have exciting plots in them and deep love and interesting characters. There are not many good Christian books for young adults that are fiction; a lot of them are devotionals or stories without fantasy and fairytale aspects. Of course, I have found a few, and it depends where you look. But usually, there a lot less fiction Christian books to choose from, even in the adult section. It irritates me when all I can find are Amish romances and regular romances. Don't get me wrong those stories are great and needed, but can't there be more variety?
Where are the Christian stories with dragons, fairies, and other worlds? Christian writers are called to honor God in all they do, and should be able to portray Christ in all that they do. When was the last time a Christian fiction book as talked about as the Hunger Games or the Twilight Series? Our stories won't be as popular because the element of Christ, but should be just as well-written and creative, even more so because we as believers are to do everything, even writing, for God. We are called to a higher standard. So where are you Christian writers? We should not be afraid to write bold, daring, awesomely unique stories for our Lord (and I'm talking to myself here). The world needs the gospel told to them in fresh, new ways; this is one of the reasons I write. And thank you Ted Dekker, Donita K. Paul (Dragonspell), Randy Alcorn, C. S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien and others for daring to tell unique, sometimes odd, God-glorifying stories!
I believe it's okay to read secular books. What do ya'll think? I believe Christians can learn from non-believers, even about God, though the writers didn't intend for that reason. In Charles Dicken's book about the French Revolution, the end is an excellent portrait of Christ. And the Harry Potter books, especially the last one, point indirectly to Christ and his deep love. These books can also tell us false things about God, without even meaning to, so we need to be extra careful when we read them. But God can definitely use them to point people to him. He can use anyone or anything he will, and I want to be one he chooses to use!
-Let me hear all of your thoughts on this subject everyone!