You include a lot of Scripture in your books, sometimes even in your fiction. And you also talk about different doctrines and theology. Is that necessary?
Yes, it is. There are a lot of doctrines (beliefs/teachings) in this world, including doctrines of cultures, institutions and personal opinion. There’s a lot of false doctrine, and good doctrine is the only correction to it.
Everyone operates by a set of doctrines. Our minds must latch onto something. If it’s not biblical, it will be unbiblical. The only way to establish a filter of discernment that gives us an eternal perspective, Christ’s perspective, is to saturate our minds with God’s Word. It’s the only antidote to the continuous stream of wrong thinking fed us by the world, the flesh and the devil.
Because everyone knows Pharisees who beat people over the head with biblical truth, many Christians distance themselves from Bible study and stay away from quoting Scripture, lest we sound like fire-breathing fundamentalists. We too quickly throw out the baby of truth with the bathwater of self-righteous rule-keeping. We forget God’s Word is only second a sword, it is first and foremost bread and water for the hungry and thirsty.
What words do we have to offer others that are on a par with his Word? Only when we plug into the ministry of His Word, by honoring his truth, do we ride on the coat-tails of the Bible’s words of eternal impact. Our words can be touched with immortality by their correspondence to His words.
Our worldviews inevitably permeate not just nonfiction but our fiction, and they may touch readers more profoundly precisely because they’re not expecting truth, “just a” story. But stories powerfully convey truth, even when it’s beneath the surface. People let their guards down, and open their minds to our stories, and in comes the Trojan Horse, containing what they do not expect and might not desire. Then, having let it into their minds, fiction does its subversive work and “poisons the well” of humanism and naturalism and secularism, or more accurately purifies the well that has been tainted by the others. And then they may discover to their surprise that what was inside the Trojan horse, what they would have kept outside the walls of their mind (as they often do good nonfiction) had they known, has actually liberated them.
I would say to those who write and speak, for a biblical worldview to permeate our writing and speaking, we must first have let it permeate our minds. If all we soak in is popular culture, a few hours a week at church won’t be sufficient to give us depth and durability. We need the Bible first and foremost, then we need books that teach and reinforce the Scriptures and help us to see them through a new lens. There are certain writers who draw so deeply from Scripture that they have the feel of Scripture—though errant, they draw so much from the inerrant that they take on a supernatural depth and authority. In nonfiction, read Edwards, Spurgeon, Tozer, Packer, and Piper...you mine more treasures every time you read them.
Similarly, you might write a novel without quoting a single Bible verse, but if God’s Word is daily at home in your heart and mind, your writing will take on a perspective, and an air of solidity and permanence it won’t otherwise have. God promises his Word won’t return unto him empty, without accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it (Isaiah 55:11). He does not promise that about OUR words, but HIS. If we want our words to have lasting value and impact, they need to be touched and shaped by His words. That will happen as we make an ongoing daily choice to expose our minds to Scripture, to meet with Christ, and let Him rub off on us.
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18)