The Power of Narrative

Our languishing culture is made up of individuals, not a collective mass audience. Most of them are blasé, complacent individuals. To simply confront them with holier-than-thou accusations or rah-rah chants is fruitless. Moral outrage doesn’t make sense to them anymore, and misplaced skepticism is profuse. How do you cure a patient who refuses to believe they are ill?

This is an age-old problem with an age-old solution. Do not merely inform them. Show them.

Imagine the thoughts that must have gone through the prophet’s mind as he walked to the residence of the King of Israel. Nathan was approaching David, the legendary musician and warrior who was – as God Himself said – a man after God’s own heart.

But David had just committed adultery with Bathsheba, and after learning she was pregnant by him he deliberately had her husband put on the front line of the fiercest battle so that he would be killed. After Bathsheba mourned her husband’s death, David took her as his wife. David had disgraced himself in front of YAHWEH, but he had grown so full of himself that he hadn’t even realized it.

How did the prophet break the news to the complacent king? With a parable.

Despite its subtlety, the story was powerful enough that David empathized with the story’s protagonist who was done wrong. He was so outraged by its heartless antagonist, in fact, that he said, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die” (II Samuel 12:5).

Then Nathan exclaimed, “YOU are the man!”

The realization brought David to his knees. He felt conviction because he had witnessed his own actions analogized in a story he had never heard before – a story from which he was otherwise personally detached. He was thus caught vulnerable, with no witty excuse prepared in order to plead his innocence. David was truly guilty.

The American people need to be told stories about themselves that they haven’t heard before – stories that suddenly reveal that the sort of character we despised is what we ourselves have become.

That’s why Matthew Perdie and I (likely to be joined by my siblings and some friends) are planning a venture into narrative film. He’s doing all the groundwork in New York City while I’m doing the screenwriting out here in Ohatchee, Alabama. I experimented with screenwriting a few years ago, and as I have just three classes left before graduating from college, I look forward to trying my hand at it again. Historical drama and epic are my passion, but modern themes will likely be explored first.

Our goal will be to use narrative film to awaken people’s consciences to seek the truth.

A “Kernel of Historicity” vs. the Faith of a Mustard Seed

(AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

(AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

I’m not sure why that title came to my mind.  I suppose it’s just another one of my tributes to the downright stiff-necked mankind’s attempts at knowledge continuing to pale in contrast to the Bible.  Not everybody realizes that faith can be reasonable and sometimes “reason” is really blind faith. I still have yet to see any archaeological or paleontological evidence of macroevolution that hasn’t been revealed to be a hoax.

First they “discovered” that the Hebrews spoke Hebrew before they were captives in Babylon (imagine that).  Now they’re surprised that Israel might have been powerful enough during the reign of Solomon to build impressive fortifications.  Though I’m surprised these things were still publicly in question, I give archaeologists credit for admitting the evidence, and Yahoo credit for letting it make the homepage news.

“JERUSALEM – An Israeli archaeologist said Monday that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical narrative about the era.

If the age of the wall is correct, the finding would be an indication that Jerusalem was home to a strong central government that had the resources and manpower needed to build massive fortifications in the 10th century B.C.  That’s a key point of dispute among scholars, because it would match the Bible’s account that the Hebrew kings David and Solomon ruled from Jerusalem around that time.

While some Holy Land archaeologists support that version of history — including the archaeologist behind the dig, Eilat Mazar — others posit that David’s monarchy was largely mythical and that there was no strong government to speak of in that era…”

Click here to continue.

Some unabashedly think that “David’s monarchy was largely mythical”?  Are they related to the people who thought that Piltdown man wasn’t mythical?  Now for my favorite quote:

“‘There’s a kernel of historicity in the story of the kingdom of David,’ [Aren Maeir] said.”

As Brad Scott says to researchers, keep on looking.  Keep on studying.  All that is there to be found is more evidence for the existence of YAHWEH (the God of the Bible, in case you don’t know Him).  Before long they will be staring Him in the face.  Maybe in response you will try to be all smart-alecky and say that the accuracy of the Bible doesn’t directly correlate to the existence of the God of the Bible.  Keep on dreaming, people! If you argue like that, I’ll write an article that will make you cry.