Thursday, August 16, 2012

All good stories are about something

God Desires Art That Reflects His Truth. How does God inspire filmmakers to reflect his glory and truth, especially nonbelievers? How does this process play out?

First God can speak to us through the storytelling process. One example is the Bible. Theology is primarily a story which starts in Genesis during the creation process and ends in Revelation with God’s ultimate destiny for mankind. Therefore, storytelling must be important to God. He has used it as his primary means to communicate to his creation.

Storytelling was Jesus’ primary means of relating to people during his ministry. Matthew 13:34, says, “Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled the prophecy that said I will speak to you in parables. I will explain mysteries hidden since the creation of the world.” NLT

Jesus understood the power of stories. Throughout the history of mankind, we have been telling each other stories. Today’s film industry is just a reflection of the story-telling process that Jesus embraced. Jesus spoke stories and parables that were saturated with vivid, visual imagery. Everyone wants to hear and see a good story.

So how did Jesus use parables to reveal the hidden mysteries of God? First, he always had a point. All good stories are about something.

Jesus used symbolism and metaphors. Symbolism and metaphors help to forge a connection between dissimilar objects and themes.

Jesus told familiar stories that were tied to everyday activities. He didn’t talk about things that the average person wouldn’t understand. He wanted to connect to his audience. In fact, Jesus was culturally relevant.

If we want to tell compelling stories and relate to the general audience, we can learn a thing or two from Jesus. He is presenting to us, the Body of Christ, the ultimate storytelling concepts.

Jesus told interesting stories full of drama, conflict and personal struggles. You do not have a story unless you have some form of conflict. Jesus embraced four story concepts, which are the only concepts in the storytelling process--man vs. man, man vs. himself, man vs. nature and man vs. the supernatural. In each one of these story concepts, conflict is essential.

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