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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Getting Lost In The Story

Why do millions of people around the world tune in every week (many are even willing to pay for it) to watch a convoluted, (half-baked?), confusing serialized television show about plane crash victims stranded on a mysterious island?

The story.

Questions. Unexpected twists. Attention to detail. Artistic nuance. Mythologies. Love. Danger. The unknown. Intentional lack of resolution. Good and evil. The Supernatural. It draws people in and it hold their attention. It evokes a response and inspires creativity. Communities are built around it.

Contrast that with most presentations of the gospel "story." A neatly packaged presentation that is clear, concise, and full of answers. A "subjective" third-hand account where the allegorical dots are connected by lines of propositional truth. It does little to intrigue and works to leave nothing unexplained. Our story sounds tired, contrived, and commercial.

We have a lot to learn about being storytellers.


cafeaddict said...

we aren't storytellers or revealers of mystery (as Paul described himself by the way.) we are fact distributors, propositional vending machines. for every question, we have a ready answer. drives me crazy. you have hit on one of my biggest soapboxes. how in the world have we as believers managed to make the most incredible story ever written so boring, so packaged and so totally canned?

Watchman said...

this is why i think the age of practical biblical teaching is over. when is the last time you went to a film and "applied it to your life?" but you can remember 10 films quicker than 10 sermons and were probably more moved by the previous than the latter.

how do you get away with watching soap operas as a part of your job? must be great to be in a full time missionary position :)

Camel Rider said...

I agree with cafeaddict and watchman....we've lost the mystery. We've reduced the story to a series of right/wrong questions and beliefs. If someone does ask questions outside of the norm or "doubt" or "question" the story we condemn them and rebuke their disbelief.
Let's bring back the mystery and intrigue.