I’ve Been Converted

Posted: July 30, 2010 in books, life
Tags: , , , , ,

For years now I have been a professed theologian.  My bookshelves are full of works by authors whose names I can barely pronounce writing about topics and using words from languages I cannot speak.  I have always enjoyed reading books of great depth and importance and this has kept me almost exclusively in the camp of serious non-fiction.  I occasionally made some time for some fictional works or less serious reading, but I usually felt guilty like a diabetic eating chocolate cake – it was fun but I was pretty sure it was not healthy for me or profitable.

That being said, this current admission comes with no feeling of guilt of pangs of conscience: I love good stories more than anything.  It may be fiction or non but I can read a book full of good stories with the kind of joy and tirelessness that should accompany only Homer Simpson at an all-you-can-eat buffet.  And I’m not necessarily talking about biographies here.  They are often filled with a lot of boring minutia that only the authors’ mother could love.  I have fallen in love with Donald Miller‘s disarming and self-deprecating honesty, Douglas Coupland‘s strange but unbelievably insightful stories about post-modern life, and most recently Matt Mikalatos‘s funny and poignant book “Imaginary Jesus“.  In all honesty I’ve been finding far more food for thought and more life changing insights in the stories than I have by keeping on reading the seemingly never ending debate over the same church related issues in every book I have read over the past five to ten years.  It is not that I do not still read more traditional non-fiction ministry related books – they will always have their place and I do enjoy them- but I have found that these stories have been causing me to think more and change my life more than many other kinds of books have in recent history.

I still think that there will always be a place in my life and my studies for more traditional non-fictional didactic teaching type books, but if Jesus thought that teaching through stories was a good idea once in a while there is probably some space to be made in my reading for stories too.  If ever you want to take me out or invite me over for a beverage of some description make sure to bring your good stories with you.

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Comments
  1. Brian J Munro says:

    The great Jack Kirby – the artist behind the creation of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and a host of other Marvel and DC superheroes – was at a library late in his life where they were adding a section of graphic novels including much of his work. The librarian asked Kirby if he thought comics would ever reflect real life and thus help us to better understand the human condition.

    Kirby replied, “Certainly not! It’s only when they transcend real life that we have any hope of figuring out what’s going on.”

    One word –

    Parables.

    Keep reading brother.

    Shalom

    Like

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