June 21, 2024
Worldview, Book Reviews, Evangelism, Storying

Telling a Better Story – a book review

What does telling stories have to do with apologetics? My interest was sparked when I saw this new book on apologetics focusing on telling stories earlier this summer. Apologetics has traditionally been oriented to philosophy and logic. Yet most people understand life through stories they seek to practice. Expressing the reason for the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15) is best communicated through stories. People relate to stories better than to formal syllogisms. Josh Chatraw’s new book, Telling a Better Story: How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age (Zondervan, 2020) reimages apologetics for today’s context. The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 – A Better Story About Apologetics; Part 2 – Offering a Better Story; Part 3 – Objections to the Story. He writes the following about apologetics:       Once viewed as a tool to win debates, apologetics is now becoming more focused on… Read the whole post
Islam, Book Reviews, Storying, Worldview

Book Review: Two Stories of Everything

Why review another book comparing Islam and Christianity? Two Stories of Everything: the Competing Metanarratives of Islam and Christianity by Duane Alexander Miller take a different approach than most. Rather than comparing Islam and Christianity as religions, Miller compares the metanarratives that Islam and Christianity tell. Metanarratives are the overarching story that includes and defines all the smaller stories of a people. It is the story that communicates the worldview of a group. I find it interesting that Miller never uses the term ‘worldview’ (if he did I missed it). I think he wanted to stay focused on the stories of everything rather than get bogged down in a philosophic analysis. He has lived in the Middle East and has personal experience interacting with Muslims for whom he shows great respect. He explains his approach in the introduction: People often talk of Islam and Christianity as competing religions, and… Read the whole post
Worldview, Book Reviews, Storying

Book Review: Worldview-based Storying

Tom Steffen’s book, Worldview-based Storying: The Integration of Symbol, Story, and Ritual in the Orality Movement, is the first book in the Series “There’s More to the Story” written by the consultants of Worldview Resource Group. I reviewed book two (July 2018) and book three (December 2017) – the books were not published sequentially. Each book stands on its own yet reading them in the order intended would be beneficial to the reader. In the Preface, Steffen describes the concerns addressed by the series: Cross-cultural communicators of the gospel all too often neither provide adequate backstory nor sufficiently know whom they address, much less how they story. In fact, some even consider such awareness totally unnecessary! This all too often leads to an ineffective, truncated biblical story. This series “attempts to preempt the rapidly-prepared, quick-fix approaches that tell only small portions of the biblical story, and in their place, present… Read the whole post
Contextualization, Gospel, Storying, Worldview

Worldviews are interpreting your stories

In communicating the gospel message, whether through Bible stories or Discovery Bible Studies, we need to be aware that our hearers will interpret what they hear through their worldviews. In a 1993 issue of the MARC Newsletter, Bryant Myers wrote about what happened after showing the Jesus Film in a Fulani village in Africa: The white missionary walked back to the village with the women, listening to their animated conversation. Something didn’t make sense. “What was it that so captivated your attention?” He asked. “The Christian man from the coast who made the magic!” they exclaimed. Confused, he asked, “What magic?” “We’ve never seen a shaman who had the power to make people get up and move about on a sheet and talk,” they explained. What message had the village women heard? From the point of view of the missionaries showing the Jesus film, they had heard the good news… Read the whole post
Training, Storying

Teaching the Bible Story-line

Sometimes we approach the Bible like dining at a smorgasbord restaurant. At a smorgasbord there is no order or progression to the meal, you just pick what you want. Similarly, we can read a passage or story without thinking about where it fits in the story-line of the Bible. We gravitate to what we want to hear or what is comfortable. When we eat only the food we like at a smorgasbord, it can result in an unhealthy diet and indigestion. Likewise, we can develop an unhealthy theology and theological indigestion when we read the Bible and ignore the story-line. The Bible is more like a multi-course meal designed by a dietitian for our health and enjoyment. Each course prepares the taste buds for the next. The sequence is just as important as each item. Each story and passage in the Bible is a part of the overall metanarrative of… Read the whole post
Back To Top