The Power of Stories

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Sonlight's curriculum is based around stories. Fantastic literature. Wonderful books. Incredible tales.

On the flip side, I've seen several instances where people are calling us to return to the Bible--and the Bible only. One example would be the Boundless commenter who said:

why do you bother giving away books that keep poeple from concentrating on the only book that they need to read to answer every single problem they have: the Bible? [errors in original]


I think the Ted Slater does a good job of responding to this particular accusation. And while that individual went overboard, others are beating a similar drum.

On Friday, I read a post by Daniel Abbey about hip pastors who miss the point in their message: Scripture. He's not alone in his complaint. I know families who now refuse to attend church because they can't find a pastor who preaches "enough" from the Bible. And my dad just blogged about a particularly pathetic message we endured this Sunday. And I remember some illustrations but have forgotten the point as well. So, in that sense, Dan's right.

On the other hand, Dan goes on to ask: Why not just preach the Word of God?

Why try to spice up Sunday mornings with fleshly gimmicks and theatrical eye candy? [We don't need] clever devices or secular technique in reaching the lost and edifying believers. ...I can’t tell you how much I loathe the idea that we need some sort of program or technique to grab people’s attention.

My answer: The Bible shows us why we use these "gimmicks."

Jesus constantly uses stories deeply rooted in the culture and surrounding in which He was speaking. His messages were directly tied to parties going on, the locale, and the other events that had just happened. While, yes, we must not get so caught up in looking trendy and cool, there is nothing wrong with engaging our culture with the culture. In fact, Paul is very famous for using Athenian lore to preach the Gospel.

As we consider our options for teaching our children and raising them to be ambassadors for Christ in this world, I think great literature of all kinds--including the Bible--provide the best foundation.

But I think it is unwise, and counter to what we see in Scripture, to push for a new kind of sola scriptura that restricts our teaching aids to the Bible and a handful of "approved" Christian authors.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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