For his new novel, "Skin," Christian author Ted Dekker has dropped the evangelical angle on which he has built his entire writing career.
Yet Dekker insists he hasn't turned his back on God or his fans. The serial-killer suspenser is "kind of like 'The Matrix': Depending on who are, you take away something very different than someone else, depending on your beliefs," he said.
"I'm really appreciative of the Christian market; they're responsible for essentially drawing in a large group of readers for my stories," Dekker said, "but (being labeled a Christian author) definitely limits your audience."
Another thing helping Dekker widen his fan base: the silver screen. His 2003 novel "Thr3e" became the first of his works to be adapted for the movies, hitting theaters in January and DVD last week.
By Halloween, last year's "House" becomes a full-fledged fright film, which Dekker said "will be much more appealing to the younger crowd and it will freak out the older crowd. They won't know what to make of it."
Dekker said he lost a lot of older readers with "House," who couldn't fathom why a Christian would dabble in horror.
His answer: Because teens respond to it.
"The church knows they need to reach out for the youth, because they're leaving them behind," he said. "They're not speaking the language of the emerging culture. Most youth sit in church services and are cynical in the way it's presented to them, even if they believe in the truth itself." "Rod Lott