So, I’ve laid it out for you. This is our weak spot — We got no story. The monkey is on our back.
But, will you use this same weak spot of our secular story allies in your country and advance to engage our undefended space? Will you embrace story and reopen the conversation in America?
We’ve showed you this because we want to know what’s in your hearts– what you want, here in the story.
Seriously, it’s all about what you really want, here in the story. Because if Christianity is the story we are in, then it looks like that Damick guy is on to something…
Instead of asking whether God expects something from us or has any divine commands for us,we judge religious expectations by what we want, by whether a religion fits into our lifestyle. ….And usually it goes beyond subjectivity – which is trying to see a truth from different points of view – to the far more variable, trivial, and inconsequential world of opinion and preference. It’s not about truth any more. It’s about what I want.Andrew Stephen Damick, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy
But there is great tension on our team. We are our own “house divided”.
Some of our team members believe that your failure to even explore the possibility that, if Christianity is the story we are in, then your God is the Great Storyteller –- is the ultimate assurance that we can continue to win against you without fighting.
In other words, they think we now know all we need to know.
But there’s something bigger here for Paula and me. We recognize more and more that, if Christianity is the story we are in, we are not in a minimalist story.
This is an archplot.
And that is disturbing for us, because your God would not be a passive protagonist in such an archplot story, struggling to find his way through the chaos of reality, occasionally breaking through.
Instead, he would be active. And we continue to come across troubling implications from that.
For instance, you can imagine why a covert intelligence team like ours would look at each other while reading this…
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
So, if Christianity is the story we are in, we can’t hide from your God.
But neither can you.
Face it. It’s there on the table for you. We’re telling you what we saw. We laid out our weak spot, our undefended space.
But it’s up to you if you are going to resist your God. And we’re anxious to see what you Christians in America will decide.
Will you take advantage?
Let’s say, just for fun, that you did.
Will you indulge me? Let’s take a look at what it could mean for you if you were to see our undefended space and embrace looking through the story lens.
To begin, let’s remember Chesterton’s quote…
I wish we could sometimes love the characters in real life as we love the characters in romances. There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America
People in a story.
Simple, yet profound, like this insight from Robert McKee…
Culture is a quarter inch thick. Human nature is bottomless.Robert McKee, Quoted in The God of Story: An Interview With Robert McKee, By Alec Sokolow and Tony Camin, Vice, July 1 2014
We have changed, Paula and I, and our whole team. McKee has helped change our way of seeing you Americans. We’re all in this together, as far as this human experience goes.
Since we all see our lives as a story, it gave us hope that instead of treating you with contempt, we might change and find a way towards at least recognizing that even though you are not members of the Middle Kingdom, we do have something in common…
So, this is a test for you. Will you be able to see others as people in a story? Could story make it possible to begin to reconnect with your fellow Americans?
This is what story does, too — shortens the distance between those on opposite sides of two fences — in spite of a well-guarded perimeter between, patrolled by arrogance and injustice and hatred, rage and intolerance, and greed and evil. Story makes it so that the two sides can make contact, and the spark of love can jump.To Have the Mind of Christ? Start by Telling Stories, By Lauralee Farrer, Fuller Studio
“The presence of hate has become taken for granted,” Mr. Spielberg said. “We are not doing enough to counter it.”
Look, we’re all storytellers. There’s no one alive who isn’t a storyteller, even if they don’t think they are. Every day is a story. Maya Angelou said: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
Storytelling is fundamentally human.Steven Spielberg on Storytelling’s Power to Fight Hate, By Adam Popescu, New York Times, December 18, 2018
Let that sink in…fundamentally human.
You can literally get on the same wavelength as other people by telling a story. The fact that our brain activity moves in lockstep during storytelling is one of the best secrets to deeply understanding others. Unifying leaders, take note. Start your next speech with a personal story.
Advances in brain science are proving what people intuitively know, which apparently is beaten out of us as professional economists: stories bring people together. They possess the power to unite.
YOU CAN SEE that the evidence is clear. Though we may not ultimately agree on every issue, we can still come to understand one another. To understand others and help them understand us, we must make a human connection, and the way to do this is through stories.Arthur Brooks, Love Your Enemies
Story is the way to bring people together.
Our stories teach us that there is a place for us, that we fit. They suggest to us that our lives can have a plot. Stories turn mere chronology, one thing after another, into the purposeful action of plot, and thereby into meaning.
If we discern a plot to our lives, we are more likely to take ourselves and our lives more seriously. If nothing is connected, then nothing matters. Stories are the single best way humans have for accounting for our experience. They help us see how choices and events are tied together, why things are and how things could be.Daniel Taylor, Ph.D., The Healing Power of Stories
See that? Stories bring purpose, and meaning. So, is that what you want, here in the story?