It’s difficult to generalize what influences all authors who are Christian. However authors are readers and they respond to issues.
A well-written article can stimulate a simple secular response or one from a Christian point of view. The response can range from simple agreement or vehement opposition driven by their understanding of scriptural teachings. Whether or not the Christianity of the writer of the article is evident, the presentation of the content determines the tone of the response.
Frank Peretti has had great influence. By giving shape and substance to angels and demons he has created a very realistic realm, one which appeals to writers as well as readers. It has opened doors for creativity, an opportunity to take literature to a new level.
In earlier times, Tolkein and C.S. Lewis set the stage for fiction writers to create fantasy worlds and imaginary characters—stories which parallel the Bible, or the Gospel in such a way that secular readers can enjoy them and internalize the truths without knowing they are doing so.
Tim LeHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins opened up discussion on end times by the creation of real characters and possible credible political situations.
Not all influential writers are Christians, though. Vampire stories, tales of evil witchcraft and sorcery fill a need for connections with the supernatural.
Christian authors respond to a multitude of stimuli but their underlying motivation is to spread the word of the Gospel to all in a style and manner that will attract the attention and interest of the largest section of the population.
(Gina Sikkema is the second in a series of articles on Christians writers in Canada.)