By Dave Swavely /
Truth Is No Stranger to FictionHere’s something we’ve been eager to announce for almost a year. At Cruciform Press, we’re finalizing our preparations to follow our Savior into the realm of creative storytelling!
Jesus Christ was the most skilled and effective communicator of truth who ever lived, and more than a third of his teaching in the gospels is in the form of parables—fictional stories designed to illuminate and illustrate the truth he taught. The prophet Nathan brought King David to repentance with a metaphorical story about ungodly greed and unjust murder, and other prophets and apostles were given visions by God that used fictional elements in the service of truth. Professing Christians like Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe literally changed the world through their stories, and C. S. Lewis described his Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy as a way of “seeing the truth sideways.”
When we see Satan, God’s enemy and ours, using fiction throughout human history to powerfully advance his nefarious schemes, let’s remember that all he is doing is perverting a divinely ordained technique—one that God intends to belong first and foremost to his church. So at Cruciform Press, we are excited about the opportunity to help “reverse the curse” in this regard by using the God-given instrument of fiction for good purposes instead of evil.
In keeping with the Cruciform Press vision, we plan to put out books that are relatively short. As with our non-fiction titles, you can trust that the content will conform to sound biblical and doctrinal truth, although it will communicate and illustrate that truth in very different ways, of course. Perhaps most importantly, in contrast to much of the fiction published today, the content will neither glorify evil nor encourage sinful responses in you, our readers. We want our stories to reflect the problems of our broken world, as the Bible does, but point us toward the solutions to those problems rather than making them worse. So there may be realistic adult themes and content in our books, but like Scripture they will never be gratuitous or without a God-glorifying purpose.
Lord willing, you’ll see a variety of genres coming from Cruciform Fiction, from inspirational drama to speculative fiction to “forgotten classics.” We’re praying that each title will be a blessing to you personally, but also provide you an opportunity for evangelism and discipleship as you have opportunity to recommend and discuss these books with friends. Adding them to your reading rotation will allow you to view the truth of God’s Word from a different perspective, like C. S. Lewis said, and offer you insights and illustrations to use in sharing that truth with others.
One of the first things we did when weighing this fiction venture was to network a little to try to find some potential candidate manuscripts. What we found was certainly encouraging, but we also know that these must be just the tip of a much larger iceberg! So now we’d like to throw open the floodgates and ask for your help.
Who do you know among God’s people who may have a good, solid, fiction manuscript we might be interested in, or the gifts to produce one? Is it you? Your pastor? A friend? A blogger or Facebook acquaintance you enjoy reading? Please use the contact form below to get in touch or ask questions. We can’t wait to see what you send us!
To be clear, Cruciform Press will continue publishing non-fiction books and Bible studies from a variety of authors, including Tim Challies and staff and contributors at Desiring God. We’re just adding the fiction line and trusting God to lead that effort as he chooses. So in closing, please pray for the Cruciform staff, and particularly for me as General Editor of this nascent fiction effort. We believe God is taking us on this new adventure and we hope that you’ll join us, whether as a reader or author, and be greatly blessed as a result.
And please stay tuned…in the not-too-distant future we will tell you more about the first books we plan to release.
Contact Dave about Cruciform Fiction:
Dave Swavely has all the credentials you might want for a role like this one, including 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. While in seminary he served as personal assistant to John MacArthur, and has worked on books and other writing projects for MacArthur and other Christian leaders such as Harry Reeder and Wayne Mack. He has written or edited numerous non-fiction books and articles (including a year writing for WORLD Magazine), and has published three novels with major secular publishers. He has also planted two churches and been involved in the founding of two Classical Christian educational programs along with his wife, Jill, and their seven home-schooled children.
Most importantly, Dave has lived his own gospel story of repentance and redemption and knows what it means to rely on the grace of God alone. Since leaving pastoral ministry in the summer of 2016 because of personal issues, the Lord has mercifully granted him growth in his spiritual life and marriage, and with the encouragement of his wife and church leaders he is now seeking to use his gifts and knowledge in new ways to promote the Kingdom and provide for his family. We are thrilled to have Dave at the helm of this new effort. To the extent that Cruciform Fiction becomes a reality it will be entirely due, humanly speaking, to his gifts, faithfulness, and vision.