The Good News in Stories and Images

At what point did we begin relegating all the stories of scripture to children's Sunday school? The good news of the Gospels is communicated primarily in stories and images. Why is it then that we seem more interested in theology, doctrinal statements, and theory than the stories of scripture? The answer is that prose is easier to understand than poetry. Prose is easier to manipulate to our own cultural viewpoints and language than a story is. Yet, it's the stories that Jesus told that most impacted the crowds - including his own disciples. It's the stories that Jesus told that most encouraged the weak and poor – including the untouchables of his society. It's the stories that Jesus told that most incensed the religious. It's the stories that Jesus told that most connected with the culture. Maybe if Christians will tell stories that reflect Jesus' stories, they can re-capture a sense of God's creativity, character, and good news to our world.

Building Belief

Belief is an ancient word; or worse, a vague one. Many Christians don't really know what they believe – especially in regard to their beliefs about Jesus and his teachings. As a result, reading the scripture seems tedious and impractical. Yet, it's an exposure and understanding of scripture that builds our beliefs or at least helps us ask the all-important question: do I believe this? If you aren't reading the scripture with the honest question constantly in your mind – do I believe this? - you aren't reading correctly! There is a right and wrong way to read the scripture. In contrast to many of our postmodern assumptions that “any reading should be good,” the scripture doesn't invite us to a passive reading, a reading that appreciates the story but misses the point. The scripture challenges us to the core of our being, asking us, do you believe this? Do you live this? It's okay not to believe; it's better to be honest, and ask for help to believe than to pretend. The scripture says so.