The Greatest Story Ever Told

November 29, 2011

Oh, hi.

Illness Update: I ate some crackers and granola and a veggie wrap yesterday. I’m still tired but I’m pretty much better now, you so can stop worrying, you guys. I know you’ve been fretting. I am going to be OK.

If you weren’t sick, being sick would be so great. You can lie around all day and no one will judge you for it. You lose weight because you don’t have any appetite. Instead of people recoiling when they see you unshowered and without makeup, they say, “Oh, how are you feeling? Can I get you anything?” It would be a good life. Except for the vomiting.

The other night my friends and I watched The Prestige with good old Cussy McCusserson Christian Bale.

Have you guys seen it? Despite the fact that Scarlett Johansson is in it, I love this movie. I love it so much that I own it. (I also own The Illusionist, which is not nearly as good, but I apparently rented it from Blockbuster once and forgot to return it, so they made me buy it. But who’s bankrupt now, Blockbuster?)

Where was I? Oh, yes, The Prestige. It’s kind of dark at times, but it’s such a fascinating movie. I can’t really tell you much about it, because I’d give it away. But basically there are a couple of illusionists from the 1800s and they are always trying to one-up each other. It’s kind of a mystery — you’re trying to figure out what’s going on the whole time. Also, one word: Twist!

I’ve been thinking a lot about story lately — about what makes a story good or compelling or useful. I think plot, twists and turns, strong characters and mystery are so important to a good story. That is why I like The Prestige and Lost. I like trying to figure things out, trying to see what’s coming next.

The Bible is telling a very good (and true) story. Just imagine that you’d never heard any of the Bible stories, never heard about Adam and Eve or Noah or Jesus. If you started reading the Bible chronologically, it would be so awesome to see this story coming together. The twists, the surprises, the promises, the mistakes, the beginning, the end. It’s one big story — one super awesome narrative of who God is and what he is doing. So cool.

Biblica has published The Books of the Bible, which is the entire Bible published without chapter and verse markings.

First of all, this is more true to the original text, since chapters and verses were added way later. Secondly, reading the Bible this way helps you to see it as a story. You don’t automatically stop at the end of the chapter — if the narrative continues, so do you. It’s the way the text was meant to be read — it keeps us from fragmenting the story in odd places.

Next time you pick up your Bible, try to approach it like you’ve never read it before and read it as one whole story. When you read the narrative of David and Goliath, go verse-by-verse. Don’t assume you know what’s going to happen. Ask questions as you read, wonder at how things will turn out, at who will be victorious. Read the Bible like the story that it is, written by the Author who puts all good stories together.

K, gotta go. Have a good day. Watch a good movie. Read a Good Book. Bye!

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4 Responses to “The Greatest Story Ever Told”

  1. Isn’t one of Donald Miller’s books on this very topic? I’m with you (and him?) that story is one of the most compelling parts of culture.

  2. denisemorris said

    Hunter, I think you’re right. I haven’t read it, but he does have a book focused on story.

  3. You should read The Epic of Eden by Dr. Sandy Richter. It’s all about the unfolding story of God throughout scripture.

  4. […] Some people hate the Harry Potter series on account of how they’re Satan’s favorite books. But there are such redemptive, Christian themes in this series. Just like Narnia, just like Pilgrim’s Progress. I think part of the reason I love Harry Potter is because — like Narnia or LOST — it tells a detailed, beautiful story. There are things to figure out, clues along the way, an ultimate plan and purpose. It’s like we talked about last week; story is powerful. […]

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