Although I could go into full detail to answer this question, I'll let another professional web site
do the work for me.
When people ask me what I write and I answer "Inspirational fiction," I
usually receive a blank or puzzled stare in response. Many readers simply
don't understand what makes the women's fiction or romances that I write
different from those written by authors in the general market.
Awards web site explains it this way:
"Christian fiction is a category of stories written by novelists whose Christian world view is woven into
the fabric of the plot and character development.
"Although this definition might seem either simplistic on the one hand or overly broad on the other,
this grouping of novels is as comprehensive and as varied in age, interest,
and spiritual depth as its readership.
"C.S. Lewis resisted the label "Christian" for his novels, contending that he was simply
creating a story. But whether overtly or subtly, Lewis' fiction came out
of his understanding of God and of the universe He created, out of the
knowledge that God cares deeply about His creation that has been damaged
by sin, and He joined the human race to build a bridge back to himself.
"This bridge between God and humanity will in some way inform and characterize every Christian
"Good fiction, whether or not it is identified as Christian, will provide a memorable reading experience
that captures the imagination, inspires, challenges, and educates. Fiction
published for the Christian book market does not include the gratuitous
demonstration of sin - whether language, violence, sexual situations,
or the more hidden sins of idolatry and self-worship. Credible characters
in a fallen world, of course, will sin. But the Christian novel's presentation
of the grit and grime of human circumstance will not be done for its own
sake or to titillate, but to point the reader toward hope, toward God.
"Because the essence of Christianity is a relationship with God, a Christian novelists' well-conceived story
will in some way, whether directly or indirectly, add insight to the reader's understanding of life, of faith, and of the Creator's yearning over His creation."
From Amber: I couldn't have said it better myself.