Where Readers & Writers Connect
Christian Fiction, at times, can be very subtle. There are people who cherish Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Trilogy, and read it as a yearly ritual, but do not know that most classify it as Christian literature. When a Christian novel is so covert and understated as to be accepted and embraced by the mainstream, it can only be described as clever and artful. Divergent by Veronica Roth is just such a novel.
In 2011, Divergent was named by Goodreads members as the Reader’s Choice, as well as being named, “Young Adult Book of the Year.” The mainstream would argue with my assertion that Divergent is a Christian novel because of its heavily violent, gun-blazing ending where several characters are shot and killed. How could a Christian novel’s main characters have affinity for adrenaline pumping, dangerous, thrill-seeking situations? Can a Christian novel glorify tattoos and body piercing? Yet the message of the novel is purely Christian.
The novel splits up a futuristic, dystopian Chicago into five moral codes called factions; selflessness (Abnegation), bravery (Dauntless), honesty (Candor), Peace (Amity), and intelligence (Erudite). I would consider these Christian values. The problem arises as each faction believes that their moral code supersedes all others. Sounds like church split-ups to me. In addition to these hidden moral threads, prayer is openly displayed and a Bible verse quoted in the book.
Divergent may seem like a compromise to reach a hard-won world. But in today’s daring and edgy culture, Christians need to push the envelope and bring truth to light by any means possible. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:22 (NIV) “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Divergent pushes the envelope, but may be introducing high moral values to young adults who would learn them by no other means. For this reason, I highly recommend the book, and will be buying its sequel.