I've already admitted to being a godless heathen but that doesn't mean that I don't keep an open mind when it comes to literature. I tend not to care about whether or not an author is religious as long as the books are enjoyable and don't get too preachy. In the spirit of open-mindedness, here's a list that I'm calling "Three Book Series by Christian Authors that Everyone Can Enjoy." Okay, it's a crap title. I'm tired.
Three Book Series by Christian Authors that Everyone Can Enjoy
1) Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
|I actually have these editions. They used to belong to my uncle.|
Okay, no surprise here. Tolkien was a devout Catholic and there are a lot of elements within the books that reflect his faith. That having been said, for some people LOtR is a religion unto itself. I'm not one of them, but I do appreciate good literature and these books are incredible. Some of the best novels have characters who are Christ figures (see, for example, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey) and Tolkien's works are among those novels.
2) The Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle
The four books that comprise L'Engle's quartet--A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters--are highly enjoyable reads (although I felt like Many Waters was the weakest out of the four). L'Engle is one of my favorite authors even though her strong Episcopalian beliefs show through in her novels. These books combine theology with science fiction, politics, dystopia, horror, pretty much anything that struck her fancy and seemed to fit within the confines of her story. They are well-written, the characters are delightful, and the stories will stick with you long after you've put them down.
3) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I grew up on The Chronicles of Narnia. In fact, I was first introduced to them in Sunday school, back when I used to go to church. I haven't read all of them, although they're on my to-do list, but the ones I have read were wonderful. They obviously have Christian themes, but a lot of these themes transcend religious boundaries. The books are great even for people who aren't as hardcore religious as Lewis himself was or, even, for those of us who aren't remotely religious at all.
None of these books can be tied down into the Christian literature genre and that's the beauty of them. They communicate across the lines that we as humans draw for ourselves and speak to greater overarching themes that all humans can understand. Christ is not the only figure to have sacrificed himself for the greater good; the battle between good and evil predates modern religions. These three fantasy series hold magic and wonder that even the most devout Atheist can enjoy.