I'm working through the first draft of my novel, which is probably best described as Christian speculative fiction at this point. The problem is, I've been writing the kind of book I'd like to read, and since I typically can't stand the typical eschatology kind of Christian sci fi or the historical fiction (or Amish) romances, I've gone the other direction. I went out of my way to tell a story where the characters' worldview is "Christian", but there's no preaching, overt conversions, or mention of Christ (although there is plenty of mention of God as He exists in their galaxy). In short: my evangelical Christian beta reader says it's not Christian because I don't mention the Gospel and my agnostic beta reader is uncomfortable with the references to faith.

I'm not really interested in publishing, although I might self publish for friends and family only, so I don't really care it won't ever get picked up, but this is really bothering me. Does a novel have to be blatantly Christian or blatantly secular to work? Why can't a novel just be..."Christians" doing what they do?