Volume 15, Issue 6: Counterpoint
Frank Peretti Interview
C/A's Aaron Rench with Christian author Frank Peretti
on the arts and Christianity .
C/A: I know that we both have something in common. We're both from Idaho.
C/A: Moscow. Credenda is published in Moscow. That's where we're from. So, my first question is an Idaho
question. Is Idaho the most beautiful state?
FP: No. It's ugly and terrible and no one should want to live there ever.
C/A: Good. Do you have any constructive criticism, or any kind of criticism, of contemporary Christian writing?
FP: No. I don't. I basically say it's getting better all the time. I'm encouraged by it. I want to keep learning,
and growing, and so I try to learn and do a better job each time I write. But, I'm encouraged. I think we're getting some
real good authors coming along. It's a big wide field, a whole gamut of good writers down to mediocre writers.
C/A: How important is poetry to a novelist?
FP: Well. It's not important to me at all. Hardly. Except in terms of
well, sometimes poetry's kind of good.
I'll read poetry to just get my own imagination flowing. Poetry's often good for using words to paint a picture with a
minimum economy. Other than that, I'm pretty much just concerned with working a story so
on the one hand its good
for getting my own word-generators working. On the other hand, its not real important to what I do.
C/A: Name three poets that you really enjoy?
FP: Carl Sandburg. Then a whole smattering of others that I don't even remember. But I remember Carl
Sandburg was good. Well, Robert Frost. I guess I should know more about him but I don't.
C/A: Would you say that your novels are consciously Trinitarian, or are they generally monotheistic?
FP: A Trinity or a oneness or what?
C/A: Do you want to reflect God in a trinitarian way, or as just generally monotheistic?
FP: That's a good question. I guess I just work from basic evangelical Christian assumptions, pre-assumptions.
FP: Presuppositions. Ha ha. I don't get very theological with my books. But I think the Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost are always there in a comfortable, cultural way. Its part of my culture so that's where it comes from. I don't think
that much about it.
C/A: What are three of your literary influences?
FP: Three of my literary influences? Boy, I don't know.
C/A: What about three authors before this century that you appreciate?
FP: Before this century? I was really into Mark Twain. I was really into Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock
Holmes stories and all that. And, I was really into H.G. Wells for awhile, the science fiction stuff. I liked his stuff. That's the
old before this century stuff. H.G. Wells, when was he?
C/A: He was early
FP: Yeah. He wasn't that far back.
C/A: Where do you see Christian culture in 500 years?
FP: In 500 years, its impossible to say, absolutely impossible to say.
C/A: Are there any particular goals or objectives, mountains that we could climb, something that we
could conquer, anything that we could take over, in a glorifying manner to God? Aesthetics? Or the arts?
FP: All of the above. Well, ok, fiction, of course. We're going the right direction there. I'm happy with that.
Movies? We've got a lot of work, a lot of learning to do. I'm particularly called to that. We just came out with
Hangman's Curse , which is a pretty good start. It's a good start. It's a good movie. I've got my own set of notes about it; what we're
not going to do next time; what we're going to do next time. We're going to learn from this. I'm really looking forward to
Christians really coming up further into the film business. And really creating. It's such a powerful aspect of our culture. It's
practically the cathedral of our culture, and so we need to be there. We've got to make sure that we're learning and turning
out quality stuff. We're still babes in that regard.
C/A: What's the weakest point in Christian culture? And, why should Christians be in the arts?
FP: I think the weakest point in Christian culture is our vulnerability to pop culture, consumerism, and the
shallow mall mentality. We're so drunk and dulled and abused by the culture that we're in. We have the attention span of
a humming bird. If Christians want to be in the arts then let's do some real art, not pop art, not distraction, not
amusement. Amusement: what does that mean? Not thinking. I'd rather we had art that causes us to muse about things, to think