Greatest Christian Novelists of all time

March 4, 2005

Christian Fiction was long regarded as an abomination by the Church. Many believed that making myths and legends and stories took away from the essential truth of the Gospel. Even those who did venture into the realm of fiction had to use librettos and themes that made the reader completely aware of the Christian viewpoint the author held to. This is why Donne and Bunyan used allegory and biblical archetypes to paint their verbal pictures.

But with the advent of men like George McDonald, the Christian novel came of age at the end of the nineteenth Century. Even though I find his writing a bit “stuffy” for my taste, I put him at the top of my Christian Novelists list, because he broke ground and incurred the wrath of those who found Christian novels in bad taste.

So here is my Top Ten Greatest Christian Novelists of all time. There are both men and women, recent and old on this list. Beside each one is listed my favorite work of each.

1. George McDonald (The Princess and the Goblin)
2. J.R.R. Tolkien (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil)
3. Calvin Miller (Guardians of the Singreale)
4. Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time)
5. C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia)
6. Stephen Lawhead (The Song of Albion)
7. Jan Karon (The Mitford Years)
8. Frank Peretti (This Present Darkness)
9. Aleksander Solzhenitsyn (A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch)
10. Bodie Thoene (The Zion Chronicles).

Honorable mentions to: Flannery O’Connor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Grisham.



  1. I am interested in what others think on this question: What is a Christian novel (what distinguishes it from “secular” novels)? Has the answer to that changed over the last 100-200 years? I have an answer of my own, but I would be very interested in anyone who responds.

  2. That’s a hard question. So many of today’s “Christian” novels are written to be read by Christians and with the understanding that the people reading them understand biblical principles. Maybe a Christian novel is one where the underlying integrity is Christian, but not necessarily the characters and plot.

  3. I think the simple answer from my perspective is that a Christian novel is one written by a Christian.

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