N.D. Wilson

Stories: The Heart of 1Glories

I really need to sit down and write out my testimony that sparked this idea. It’s been in my head for a long time. I’m sure it looks to many observers that I’m merely just “making another blog” but there really is a more inspired purpose. In due time, I promise.

For now, let me provide a bit of an appetizer. It comes following an N.D. Wilson post I read over at Desiring God called “Stories are Soul Food: Don’t Let Your Children Hunger”. In that post, he opines…

Bible-believing Christians frequently have a deep mistrust of fiction. In particular, they have a deep mistrust of, ahem, magic. This is impossible for me to understand…

I guess I had never really considered that distrust, but now that I think about it, yeah, there is a certain degree of that. I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve heard of a story “not being theologically accurate” or “downplaying the Biblical implications” etc. Unfortunately, too many Christians are quick to denounce something that has tremendous potential to glorify God simply because it does not meet with their personal – human – tastes and desires.

Probably the most relevant works during my lifetime are those from the Left Behind series. I read all the tomes in that series after they had all been out for quite some time. I was somewhat appalled at the number of people who offered “medicine faces” of disgust when they found out I was doing so. So quick were they to judge that they ignored the fact that – whether theologically accurate or not – those books impacted the world and – more importantly – God’s kingdom. Do you know how many Christians were saved or restored because of their newly instilled concern for their eternal salvation?

Neither do I, but if I were a gambling man, I’d wager that it’s a lot!

I have three beautiful girls who all have their own streaks of imagination and creativity. Do I frown because their two, three and seven-year-old drawings are not Biblically sound? Absolutely not! I encourage them. I use them as springboards for deeper discussion (as deep as you can get with a child anyway). I think Wilson would approve of this tactic, especially when he suggests we should…

Feed your children stories that will keep their eyes wide with wonder when they look out their front windows or wander their yards. Feed them stories of joy and hardship and courage and tragedy and triumph. Give them heroes, real and imagined. Give them a taste for goodness, for truth, for beauty.

Now, if you are wondering if I am posting this simply to go to bat for stories and to harp on those who view with too narrow a scope, perhaps I am. But the more important thing I hope you take away from it is this:

As Wilson asserts, were are more than a “mechanical soulless machine”. Why do we insist on giving “them a list of facts to tick off, like we’re trying to communicate a party platform to new recruits, like they’re nothing but brains ready for programming”?

Stories, when they are well-told and anchored in Light, provide a real sense of Truth and an outlet for application of those facts (the verses we memorize, the creeds we recite, the prayers we offer and the dogmas to which we subscribe). Those stories can turn hearts, move souls and most importantly, win warriors for Christ.