The Story Behind the Stories – Death to Sin

“Death to Sin” came about as part of a Faith*In*Fiction contest conducted by Dave Long, an editor at Bethany House in 2005. “The purpose of the Faith*In*Fiction group was to discover compelling voices in Christian fiction, and, hopefully, to publish them, as well as to further the conversation on faith and fiction.”

On August 4, 2005, Dave offered this challenging short story contest: “Okay, given a few of my posts today and the writings of others around the web, I think it’s time to focus back on why we’re here: faith in fiction. With that in mind, it seems appropriate that we should think about having the next short story contest.

This time around I’d like to up the difficulty a bit.

One of the most crucial (and hard) things in writing Christian fiction is the “God talk”–making it sound authentic and natural. And one of the hardest things to write is a conversion scene. Yet, this should be the most powerful thing we should read–this should render us awestruck that a name has been written in the Book. (Metaphorically or literally, depending on how much Calvin you like in your theology.)

So, I’d like us to write conversion stories. Simple as that.

We complain a lot about bad conversion stories, so let’s see if we can write something more compelling.

Rules (to this point, more may be added)
1. 3000 words or less.
2. I have no definition for what a conversion story is, but we’re talking about some Christian salvific experience.

So, in accepting the challenge, I wrote “Death to Sin,” which has two former high school teammates going to the funeral home for the viewing of a former teammate. The main character thinks about all of the bad things the deceased did in high school, but then recalls the Saturday morning practice when an college athlete and FCA member came to practice to share the Gospel.

As part of the contest, F*I*F members posted there stories on their blogs. I posted “Death to Sin” on October 7, 2005.

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