How many writers have actually written readable, faith-abiding, nonviolent Christian characters?


I was reading an awesome post at:

I was going to write about how hard it is to find a good Christian character in anime, but then it hit me – have I ever found any good Christian characters in ANY kind of fiction?

A lot of Christian fiction is just not readable. One might be forced to read it, because one attends a Christian school and all the decent fiction books have been rounded up and incinerated, but one would not choose to read it if one were not under duress. So it does not good to point to the title character of “Goody Two-Shoes” as a non-violent, faith-abiding Christian – no one reads that story for honest, genuine enjoyment (although some of us read it for snarky, ironical enjoyment, or for arid historical interest).

It’s easy to point to a fictional character who FAILS as a Christian, and say, “Well, this character might be well-written, but he’s not a good Christian.” Some people would point to Hellsing‘s Father Andersen, or even to Trigun‘s Wolfwood, and say that these characters don’t act like real Christians are supposed to act. Maybe that’s so.

But there are some obviously Christian characters in readable fiction, even if they’re not IDEAL Christians. A short list:

1 – Most “good guy” characters written by Charles Dickens are not just Christians, but nonviolent Christian humanists;

2 – Brother William, hero of Eco’s The Name of the Rose, is a nonviolent Christian humanist;

3 – Shakespeare must have had several non-violent Christian characters; the priest in Romeo and Juliet suffices.

However, many fairly-well-written, mostly-Christian characters are not faith-abiding and non-violent.

Chesterton’s Syme, from The Man Who Was Thursday, does not notably abide by the Christian faith.

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are both fairly violent, when circumstances require it, and neither is very pious.

C. S. Lewis’ Ransom (from the Perelandra series) is probably faith-abiding, and aside from one fist-fight he’s nonviolent, but he is not a very well-written character; Lewis is not nearly so readable as Doyle, Dickens, or even Eco.

Christ and Buddha, as portrayed in Saint Young Men, are not very good exemplars of their real-world faiths, and anyway the story is not all that readable; it manages to limp along on its gags.

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