Stories and Storytellers

“Call me Ishmael.” “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” “The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth.” “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Great lines that open great stories. I think we’d all agree that most of us are drawn into a good story. We may have different preferences as to what that setting might be (true stories, sci-fi, comedy, etc.) but we all find ourselves resonating with stories. I’ve always been fascinated by stories and often got drawn into a movie, book, comic, or Bible story based on the strong narrative.

There was a time where my love for narratives had to be hidden. Some in the church community felt that enjoying any kind of pop culture storytelling was wrong. Because I enjoyed Stephen King books, Star Wars, 90’s Grunge music I was made to feel that it couldn’t possibly be good. In fact, it was all evil because it wasn’t written by God’s himself.

Thankfully, my parents encouraged my love of stories. They felt that the power of stories was a good influence and that, in fact, the greatest story ever started “In the beginning,”.

My parents knew then what I finally know now – the reason we love stories is that we were created by the ultimate storyteller.

God created story. We create stories because we were made in his image (imago Dei). The reason we love them so much is because the ultimate creator and storyteller left his fingerprints all over us.

Jesus even taught using stories. They were called parables. Parables are earthly stories with heavenly meaning. Why didn’t Jesus just teach giving us an acronym or list of six things to avoid? Because he knew stories would have more impact. He could have told us “Love everyone. Seriously. Do it if you love me.” Instead, he told stories like that of the Good Samaritan where we see love in action and we’re to be like that.

There’s even a story in the book of Acts where pop culture and faith collide – and they were not at odds! In Acts 17 the Apostle Paul uses one of the local poets to make a point. A contemporary secular poet made the Bible! Why? Because the poet told a story and even that story revealed a bit of God’s truth. Imagine if one of today’s great poets like PSY (the “Gangnam Stlye” guy) made the Bible today. That’s essentially what happened in this story!

Suddenly, a new world opened to me. I could see pop culture stories through the lens of faith and God’s word! Movies, television, books and music no longer were all evil but had the potential to tell stories (using the Scriptures as a lens to view them through) that could retell Biblical truths or give warning.

That’s a big part of what this blog is all about. My love of movies, television, music, sports and general nerd things as seen through the eyes of faith. Sometimes, the posts will be deep. Sometimes I’ll just nerd out over stuff. But alway, my view will be how I see things through God’s grace and his Word because I have been made in the image of the great storyteller and stories are good.

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