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Friday, March 10, 2006

Can Fiction Spark a Revival?

That's an interesting question. I can't tell you how often I hear "educated" and "spiritual" people talk about how trivial fiction is and how it's not as deep as nonfiction or God's word. Nothing compares to the Bible, but I beg to differ about comparing nonfiction to fiction and seeing fiction lacking.

Our own Lord taught through stories (parables), which were fictionalized accounts of people and events that taught a lesson or left you encouraged. Fiction is exactly that.

So, can fiction spark a revival? I'm not sure. But it can certainly get a great discussion going!

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What if your task was to lead your greatest rival to the Lord? And what if God chose your rival and not you to lead a national revival? That's the premise of Storm.

IMAGE: Jack CavanaughApproximately six months before his death, Dr. Bright teamed up with best-selling author Jack Cavanaugh to write a series of books to create a hunger for revival in America. Knowing it was unlikely that Dr. Bright would live to see the publication of the project, the authors spent intensive sessions forming the novels, after which Dr. Bright signed off and allowed Mr. Cavanaugh to write them.

This month marks the release of Bill Bright and Jack Cavanaugh's Storm.


Tell us about the conception of The Great Awakenings series.

IMAGE: Storm book coverThis series was born out of a shared desire for revival in our country. When Dr. Bright and I learned that we were both praying for revival, it seemed only natural that we would team up to write this series about the historic revivals in America.

There are so many unexpected twists in Storm, were those plots twists made during the planning sessions with Dr. Bright, or were they inspired as you wrote?

The creation of a novel has many stages. Before he passed away, Dr. Bright and I met and prayed and sketched out the broad strokes for not only Storm, but three other stories as well. We knew that unless God intervened in a miraculous way, Dr. Bright would not be alive to see the release of any of the books. My task has been to bring our stories to life.

As you researched the revivals that once swept our country, what most affected you?

Two things: First, that God so often chooses common, ordinary people to be the spark for the extraordinary outpouring of His Spirit. Second, the unexpected nature of revival. Not only the timing of revival, which is wholly in God's hands, but the unimaginable wonder of it all. The historical events that occurred are far more fantastic and wondrous than anything we could have imagined.

Do you consider Storm a character or plot driven novel?

Storm is a character driven novel. But don't mistake that for lack of action. Character driven simply means that readers keep reading because they want to find out what happens next to the characters. Storm is a personal duel between two men. Imagine if you were given the task of leading your greatest rival to the Lord. The one person you can't stand. The person who annoys and torments you endlessly. Then imagine you learned that God had chosen him, a non-Christian, and not you, to start a national revival. That's exactly what happens in Storm.

What do you hope your readers will take with them from this series?

That's easy. When we began this project, Dr. Bright and I got on our knees and prayed that after reading these novels Christians would turn their hearts to God and cry out, "Lord, do it again."


Anonymous said...

Jesus taught people through parables and I for one am someone who learns about God and godly relationship with people best through fiction. Fiction has brought healing in my life through the examples the authors have outlined in their books.
Mary F. Allen referred me to this site.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

That's exactly the reason why I write fiction. So many "spiritual" Christians frown upon fiction with opinions that it's "fake" or "not Biblical," and I feel sorry for them. They don't know what they're missing! If our Lord can teach through parables and stories, who are we to say we shouldn't?

Thanks for visiting.