Do you believe Christian romance novels are appropriate?

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Women are more likely to have interest in romance novels than men, although some men do enjoy the genre. A few years back, someone donated a bunch of Christian romance novels for the fiction section of our church library, and we received them and cataloged them. There were, however, some who (years) later objected.

Some Christians, I think, have trouble with recreational reading — period. Everything has to be justified in some way. According to the (highly recommended) book, “Accidental Pharisee” (Larry Osborne), it is the idea of justifying everything we do that is at the heart of legalism. I don’t have trouble with recreational reading (I love murder mysteries, but I don’t usually care for Christian mysteries; I prefer secular — but clean — ones). Certainly secular romance books which get into sex, etc., are inappropriate for Christians. Some have called Christian romance books, “Female pornography.” That sounds a bit harsh to me, even if deem inappropriate. Of course I have never read one (IMO, some things are worse than death), and my wife does not read them, either. But, when I brought them to shut-ins, etc. (at their request), I never felt a twinge of guilt.

It is a given than some books that claim to be Christian romance novels are afield. But does this apply to all or most?

What is your view of the subject?

Poll Results

Do you believe Christian romance novels are appropriate?

Some or perhaps many Christian romance books are appropriate, not necessarily all, however. Votes: 7
Christian romance books are undesirable, but not the end of the world; they are not equivalent to pornography. Votes: 1
Undecided. Votes: 4
They are sinful, but not to the point of requiring church discipline. Votes: 0
They are truly the equivalent of pornography. Votes: 0
Other Votes: 2

(Migrated poll)

0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 0


Some Christian romance books are “female pornography” or pretty close. Most is just what Charlotte Mason would call “twaddle” - mindless, unedifying escapism that weakens the mind and affections in contrast to true recreation which has a “re-creative” purpose.

In other words, most of it isn’t evil. Just silly.

But silly is still bad.

Josh Stilwell, associate pastor, Alathea Baptist Church, Des Moines, Iowa.

Fun and Mental