That conflict is even playing out on the bestseller list at Essence[Magazine.] Christian fiction authors and erotica authors routinely compete for the number one spot on the list. ''It's almost a battle between saints and sinners,'' Bass said.
Nevertheless, there is some mild acknowledgement of the genre's acceptance among young Christian adults. Zane said one of her most fulfilling appearances was a book signing for a women's group at a church brunch.
Steven Caldwell, 39, the pastor for young adults at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond Heights, admitted he has penned many lessons based on material gleaned from Zane's books.
''I don't tell them not to read it,'' Caldwell said. ``I have no problem with them reading it. In fact, I've read many of her books.''
Adding a caveat, the pastor noted: 'I use the characters' flaws and weaknesses to teach a broader lesson. I believe that the power of God's word is stronger than the power of a fictional character.''
Now, The Word states to not speak against our ministers, so I won't do that. But I am disheartened that he believes that its okay for his young adults to read erotica. Soft porn is a demon in black churches. Kirk Franklin confessed his own thorns over the issue and his new mission to prevent it within the young adult community.
Lately, we've talked at the faith*in*fiction board about the availability of sex scenes in christian fiction and the notion of Christian erotica. But we've all agreed that context and content is the dividing line here, not recreating a sexual act or inciting a reader's carnal emotions. It is clear line that within any case does not allow room for the types of works that Zane produces.
I thought about speaking to Zane about doing an interview here at Christian Fiction, as she is a Christian writer, but not a christian fiction writer. We belong to the same bookclub. However, I am spiritually not prepared to open that can of worms and I'm sure neither is she. So I ask you, is their a spiritual precedence allowing soft porn in young adult christian's minds? Is it okay for them to read erotica, as a bible study accompaniment? And if so, should christian fiction writer's be the one's writing these books?