Good question. Not unlike the question I get sometimes at work: Are you a Christian counselor? My answer: I’m a Christian who counsels. (Actually, I prefer psychotherapist.)
Francine Rivers helped me answer the writer question: I’m a Christian who writes.
Here’s an excerpt from her website.
Are you going to be a “Christian writer” or a Christian who writes?
What’s the difference? A Christian who writes may weave Christian principles into the story, but the work can stand when those elements are removed. A Christian writer is called to present a story that is all about Jesus. The Lord is the foundation, the structure, and Scripture has everything to do with the creation and development of the characters in the story. Jesus is central to the theme. If you remove Jesus and Biblical principles from the novel, it collapses.
If you are going to be a Christian writer,
it is essential to study Scripture. Immerse yourself in God’s Word, and the Scriptures will flow naturally into your work. The Bible is filled with God’s wisdom, and His Word will transform you as a person and as a writer. The goal is to have the reader experience God’s Truth through story – to challenge, convict, encourage. The purpose of Christian fiction is to whet readers’ appetite for a close relationship with Jesus.