What Makes Fiction Christian?

by Tim Downs

Author Tim Downs discusses at the 2014 CCCA Razor's Edge Conference the role of fiction in spreading the truth of the gospel. He notes that Jesus spoke largely through parables and argues that the value in fiction appears when the underlying message is not given away, but instead requires engagement and thought from the listener. 

Tim Downs is an American author best known for his "Bug Man" series of novels featuring forensic entomologist Dr. Nick Polchak. The series includes the books Like Flies To A Corpse later renamed Shoofly Pie (2003), Chop Shop (2004), First the Dead (2007), Less Than Dead (2008), Ends of the Earth (2009), as well as, a new release entitled Nick of Time (2011). In addition, Downs is the author of the novels, Plague Maker (2006), Head Game (2007) and Wonders Never Cease (2010). Although not a "Bug Man" novel, Plague Maker featured a cameo by Dr. Polchak.

Downs is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University. While attending college, he created a comic strip, Downstown, which was printed in numerous college newspapers from 1974 through 1979, even after Downs' graduation in 1976. Three collections of Downstown were published by the Indiana Daily Student: This is Winning? (1977); With Love, Chuck (1978); and Get in There and Quit (1978). On March 24, 1980, the strip entered syndication with Universal Press Syndicate. It appeared in more than a hundred major newspapers worldwide until Downs discontinued the strip on February 1, 1986.  Downs self-published one retrospective collection of the series, The Laylo Papers: The Complete Guide to Relationships (1989), which remains in print. Downs is also the founder of the Communication Center, a communication training and consulting ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Downs has also authored numerous books on Christian relationships and communication both on his own and in conjunction with his wife, Joy Downs. His first book, called Finding Common Ground (1999), a work of non-fiction, was awarded the Gold Medallion Award in 2000. Downs lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife and three children.


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