Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Morris’s Edge of Honor received the 2001Christy Award for North American historical novel. The author of about two hundred novels, Morris appropriates his experiences as a Baptist minister to depict varying aspects of Christianity through his characters, exposing their flaws and emphasizing their spiritual strengths. His characters serve as models of how Christians can attain morally strong lives for themselves and help others in the process. Quentin epitomizes such spiritual awakening. Already committed to religion, he strengthens his beliefs and devotion to serving God while undergoing trials testing his faith. Quentin seeks redemption for what he considers his worst sin, killing a man. Guilt consumes him. He humbles himself and makes personal sacrifices while he repents, trying to make amends.

Quentin lives to serve God. He considers his healing abilities and knowledge divinely given. Prayer is important to Quentin, who silently prays for God’s help during surgeries and credits God’s intervention when he cures and saves patients. A compassionate man, Quentin comforts his patients and their families with prayers. He selflessly shares his faith and resourcefulness to strengthen others to better their quality of life and help them accept God. Disillusioned by many of his colleagues’ hypocrisy, Quentin endeavors to act ethically and mercifully, trusting God to guide him.

Quentin’s sincerity is spiritually based. He quotes Scripture and attends church. He seriously regards words from the book of Job, emphasizing his need to be an honorable and virtuous man. He incorporates scriptural lessons into his daily life, striving to be dutiful to his community and family, particularly Hannah, and he extends altruistic aid without dwelling on any personal needs he might have. While seeking redemption, Quentin remains faithful to Irene despite temptations, honorably ending their engagement when his spiritual awakening reveals a greater purpose for him in Arkansas.

Eden and her home represent paradise to Quentin. He sees God’s presence in the wondrous countryside surrounding the Breckenridge farm. Eden reminds him of the sin he committed by killing her husband and his need to secure forgiveness from God, Eden, and her children. By confessing and atoning for his sin and righting his wrongs by performing good deeds, Quentin is the family’s salvation as well as the community’s savior, providing wisdom, hope, and unwavering friendship. Through this spiritual renewal, Quentin appreciates God’s plans for him, honorably embracing his role as a Christian healer.