story time
I saw one of my favorite authors (Donald Miller) on the cover of Christianity Today at my folks house, which really took me by surprise given what I know about both Donald Miller & Christianity Today. I always find it interesting to hear what "the establishment" thinks of someone on the outside. I think this article is very interesting, especially in light of our discussion earlier about truth that was started because of the Mormon video.

Here's an excerpt from the article. I'd like to hear your thoughts, especially regarding the last paragraph from this excerpt:

Donald Miller is in a room of 500 or 600 people, all waiting for him to speak. But as he steps behind the podium and begins, his voice seems more suited to a small group of five or six.

"Okay," he starts, "what are some of your favorite movies?"

A murmur of response—"Come on!" Miller encourages—and then people start shouting out titles. The Matrix! A Beautiful Mind! The Straight Story! Finding Nemo! The audience oohs and aahs at each other's choices. Little Women! Napoleon Dynamite! It's a Wonderful Life! The shouting goes on for a while; they forget this is a workshop.

"Okay, great," Miller says, bringing attention front and center. "Now, call out your favorite parts of the Nicene Creed."

Awkward giggles throughout the room—they know they've been had. Then one man pipes up: "It's a wonderful life!"

Miller laughs along with, maybe louder than, everyone in the room. He's enjoying that his point was made for him: We know our movies better than we know our creeds. And now self-help banalities—Your life can be wonderful—compete for our attention with the classic truths of the Christian story.

In the next half hour, Miller delivers a variation on a theme ascendant in evangelical Christianity: Truth is rooted in story, not in rational systems. The Christian mission is not well served when we speak in terms of spiritual laws or rational formulas. Propositional truths, when extracted from a narrative context, lack meaning. "The chief role of a Christian," he says, "is to tell a better story."
Link: Full article
ROUS  Zach Brumbelow, Thursday, 8-16-07 4:58 PM
re: story time
No time for a long response, but this theme is very similar to the one taught by John Eldredge at FFI. Francis Schaeffer also used similar language in discussing why Christianity "fits" - it is the missing piece of the story that allows your life experiences (your story) to make sense.
Certainly Jesus told dozens of stories, and the OT is filled with them. There's more story in the Bible than there is textbook-style material.
So yeah, I think Miller probably has a good point: we should be telling better stories, not just expecting people to memorize creeds.
Annette, Friday, 8-17-07 9:52 AM
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