Monday, 11 July 2011
By Sam at Creative Theology
I have some pretty strong convictions about how we should handle the telling of the Gospel story, especially to those who haven’t placed their faith in Jesus. His story, which we are now invited to not only tell, but participate in, has the power to turn hearts and transform lives. For this reason, we must tell the story well, resisting the urge to cheapen it with emotional manipulation.
My wife and I were at the downtown Des Moines farmer’s market a couple weeks ago, and there was a street-corner preacher standing on a box, telling passersby about finding faith. To supplement his words, he was handing out wallet-sized pamphlets. On the front was a picture a the Titanic, sinking into the ocean. While I have the desire to go on a rant about this, I will retrain myself and simply share a thought about creativity and the telling of the Gospel story.
The man’s pamplet equated, both in picture and written content, the story of humanity with the fate of the Titanic. Basically, it communicated that we are living in a sinful state and are doomed. Which has some theological truth to it, I guess. However, this is not the story of the Gospel. The story that Christ told, and lived, and invites us into, is about life, not death. The story is about hope, not despair. The story is about renewal, not destruction. Yes death, despair and destruction have minor roles in the story, but they are not the focus of the narrative.
We must remember that telling the Gospel story is a powerful thing. So when we create, whether that be with our words, our art, or (most importantly) our lives, we must focus on the true story about freedom and justice and life. It’s a much better story.