Story. Bausch’s Perspective [Thirteen Characteristics of a Good Story]

➡ Average Reading Time: 3 minutes

God's <abbr>EPIC</abbr> AdventureIn his book Storytelling, Imagination, and Faith: [ref]William Bausch. Storytelling: Imagination and Faith, 29-80.[/ref] William Bausch relates thirteen characteristics of a good story. These story characteristics are:

  1. Stories provoke curiosity and compel repetition. Good stories are gripping. We want to hear them over and over again.
  2. Stories unite us in a holistic way to nature. A good story causes us to feel connected to nature and for a believer to the God of creation of nature. That connection makes us have a feeling of holism.
  3. Stories are a bridge to one’s culture, one’s roots. We have common stories that evoke our identity to past generations and our roots. We have clan, tribe, culture, family, and individual stories. It is even possible that an outsider can get a glimpse of a culture by looking at its
    stories.
  4. Stories bind us to the universal, human family. We are puzzled especially as believers to discover that other cultures have similar motifs (like the flood stories in the Bible and in other cultures). These stories could have a binding effect and empower us to understand that we are all
    part of a universal family, regardless of color, race, or creed.
  5. Stories help us to remember. The stories we hear and tell remind us of our roots, those things that we share in common, those things that we share in honor, and those things that we share in shame.
  6. Stories use a special language. Stories use all kinds of language conventions to make the story vivid and memorable.
  7. Stories restore the original power of the word. Spoken and written words carry great power.
  8. Stories provide an escape. A good story calls us away from the immediate and gives us an opportunity to reenter life. Think of how children forget their hurts by the time a parent finishes a calm and soothing story.
  9. Stories evoke in us right-brain imagination. The Western world has molded most of us into a left-brain way of thinking. Stories bring about a balance by calling us to use the right side of our brain.
  10. Stories promote healing. Stories can bring reconciliation and forgiveness.
  11. Every story is our story. We can identify with something in every story.
  12. Stories provide a basis for hope and morality. Stories call us to the imagination of hope. Reinhold Niebuhr once said, “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in a lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.”
  13. Stories are the basis for ministry. It is from story that we minister for the sake of the world.

Bausch also suggests that good stories are paradoxical which causes emotions to be stirred. [ref]Storytelling: Imagination and Faith, 79. 65-80.[/ref]. These paradoxes are: first, spirituality is rooted in earthiness; second, the absolute is known in the personal; third, freedom is discovered in obedience; fourth, triumph grows out of suffering; fifth, security is found in uncertainty; and sixth, prayer is offered through study.) He goes on to say, “We are being asked to learn a language again that resonates with rich metaphor and image. Too long we have been trapped in the perfect square of a stylized laboratory where all things are subject to our measurements.”[ref]Storytelling: Imagination and Faith, 79.[/ref] We are invited to learn about God from the stories that he told, not from the propositions that we take from the stories that he told.

Wright takes the position that Evangelicalism’s view of Scripture is often a “low view” of Scripture…[ref]Wright, “How Can the Bible Be Authoritative?,” Vox Evangelica, no. 21 (1991): 7-32. [/ref] because we think that somehow the Holy Spirit didn’t do as good of a job as he could have done. We treat Scripture as if it were an unsorted Westminster Confession and that we have to take out of the stories the important points to believe and systematize them.

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Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)