What if story, not propositions, is the cause of our actions? What if story, not propositions, gives us our worldview? What if story, not propositions, is at the root of the way we function as human beings? What if we changed our story from one of cultural consumerism, as an example, to God’s EPIC Adventure, which provides another view of the world? Wouldn’t it follow that we would change how we would relate to the world around us? What if story is the medium through which we develop our hopes and dreams, our joy and anger, our self-expression and fears?
Stories cause us to have emotions (joy, peace, love, fear, etc.). Stories bring ideas to us. We see ourselves in the characters presented in stories. Stories explode our curiosity. Stories are about sending and receiving. Stories include a conversation that goes both ways by providing interaction. It appears that we could all benefit from the effect of story.
As long as story captures our interest we have an almost infinite capacity to hear and repeat it. In today’s economy, those who market and advertise know the power of story. It seems that story is one of the most powerful and effective tools that we have at our disposal to convey information with which we may engage people. An audience may be immersed in the story that provides them with the information that they need to take an action.
Once while teaching an Old Testament Survey class at the church level, I told the story of Genesis 1.1-2.4a. I provided the background for the writing and then placed the story of Genesis 1 into that background. The background of the story is in the life of Israel, living at the foot of Sinai, being prepared to go to the land promised to their forefathers. They had made a covenant with God in which the first stipulation was that Yahweh was the only God they could worship. The story of Genesis 1 is about God as creator set against all the other formidable gods of the ancient world. In each successive period of creation, two gods were dethroned and Yahweh replaced them. This would have been clear to the Hebrews who were hearing the story. God was serious about being their only God. I ended with a question: “How many gods do we worship today?”
The next time I gathered with those people, one lady brought me a paper that she had handwritten, answering the question. To her surprise, there were other gods being worshiped in her life with which she had to deal. God’s story and the interaction with the Spirit brought a new freedom to this person’s life. She had improvised within the framework of the story and gained new light on the gods that were controlling her life.