Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: The Stories We Tell

What do Dexter, Pulp Fiction and Honey Boo Boo have in common? They all fill our desire for entertainment while, also revealing our need for redemption.

By examining movies and television, Mike Cosper demonstrates that every story we tell is longing for the truth of the gospel in his new book, The Stories We Tell.

Cosper goes into great detail of certain characters and plots from movies and TV shows, revealing how each one points to one of the four main gospel implications: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation.

I love what Tim Keller says in the foreword, "Mike's book will help readers learn to put the gospel on like a pair of glasses in order to see the good, the bad, and the ugly in our culture more clearly...seeing God's story in the stories we tell today - will be a way for us to deepen our own understanding of and joy in the gospel we believe." I completely agree! After reading this book, I now watch TV and movies in a new way. Instead of just enjoying the entertainment of the story, I'm watching and looking for the storyline of the gospel - to see how characters are looking to redeem themselves or how a plot reveals our sinful hearts. (Please note, our stories are not the gospel, as some people like to think - if there is no mention of Jesus, it can't possibly be a complete telling of the gospel. Stories simply point us to different aspects/implications of the ultimate story, God's redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ.)

Cosper recognizes that "we tell stories because we're broken creatures hungering for redemption." Everything from fairy tales, murder mysteries, bedtime stories to horror movies are pointing out someone's mistake or looking for a solution to sin problem. Even if the authors and screenwriters don't recognize the spiritual nature of their tales, all stories reveal the heart's longing for the gospel. In the final chapter, Cosper says, "I've intentionally tried to view the stories in this book in the light of the gospel, treating their characters, plots, and images as signposts for a truth that the writers, directors, and actors might not even be aware of, but that we all nonetheless, long for."

*Special thanks to Crossway through for sharing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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