Wednesday, June 10, 2009

God's story

Story is about principles, not rules.
-Robert McKee, Story

Even a quick thumbing through the pages shows that the Bible is filled with stories. Other religious books tend to embrace lists of rules but God preferred stories to convey his truths.

Stories are not necessarily fiction and I don’t mean to imply that the biblical accounts are fictional.

I’ve been reading Robert McKee’s book, Story, which is considered a classic in screenwriting. McKee starts the book with the statement above.

A rule directs us: “Do it this way.” A principle says, “This works and have worked many times.”

A story frees us from formulas to discover principles. The first biblical story, which reveals God creating a beginning and time and matter, does not have a check list of rules.

Instead, the story gives us images:
  • In the beginning, God…
  • From chaos, God bringing order.
  • God is light, conquering darkness.
  • God rules heaven and earth
  • The spirit of God sweeping over the earth.
And really, that’s what we need to know. We understand instantly that God preceded time, that he always has existed, that he created.

We resonate with stories, which is how God wired us. We learn well through stories and God teaches well through stories.

To McKee, the story inspires us as it “seeks to order chaos and gain insight into life.”

God’s stories do that: find meaning out of chaos and give us insights for living. Enjoy God’s stories, knowing that they bring us truth about God’s nature and ours.

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