I've been working on my pomo series, which will be continuing soon. As I've been working on it, I've been reminded again about the power of narrative. This has become a well laboured point in recent years. So it's important not to forget juts how much power stories have, especially in a culture that reduces everything to a narrative (and a power play). I hope to blog on this more fully, and I've enjoyed reading about from the likes of Wright, Bauckham and Vanhoozer. Here is Tom Wright making the case again:
“Stories are, actually, peculiarly good at modifying or subverting other stories and their worldviews. Where head-on attack would certainly fail, the parable hides the wisdom of the serpent behind the innocence of the dove, gaining entrance and favour which can then be used to change assumptions which the hearer would otherwise keep hidden away for safety. Nathan tells David a story about a rich man, a poor man, and a little lamb; David is enraged; and Nathan springs the trap. Tell someone to do something, and you change their life-for a day; tell someone a story and you change their life. Stories, in having this effect, function as complex metaphors. Metaphor consists in bringing two set of ideas close together, close enough for a spark to jump, but not too close, so that the spark, in jumping, illuminates for a moment the whole area around, changing perceptions as it does so. Even so, the subversive story comes close enough to the story already believed by the hearer for a spark to jump between them; and nothing will ever be quite the same again” (NTPG, p. 40).Tell someone to do something, and you change their life-for a day; tell someone a story and you change their life. Taking the time to find the right story takes time and patience and creativity and - dare I say it - faith. But engaging with someone through story and allowing them to make the connections for themselves is the kind of thing that shapes people for life.