vendredi 19 septembre 2014

Why I Still Enjoy Storytelling When I learn

A piece i wrote few years ago. I thought I would share it with some of my new audience.

As I was walking to my place after the 'Living Word' event in the evening, i was still thinking about what made this book on Intelligent Design more appealing than the others i read in the same category - with the possible exception of 'Darwin Strikes back' by Dr. Thomas Woodward - and i came to the conclusion that it is because the book is somehow autobiographical and chronicles not only the author's pilgrim into Intelligent Design theory but also the way he introduce the readers to the history of science and scientific development that surrounded the research on the 'origin of life' project. Nothing beats story-telling when it comes to introducing someone into a new concept or a blurred notions/ theory.

This reminded me as i kept thinking that it was through biographical literature that i have embraced Christian charismatic notion to the point of non-return. I had my time in the past where I danced around the notion of supernatural and God willingness to act nowadays. I knew he could do them but i wasn't that sure that He was still doing that. Actually i was sure when things went well, meaning when i met charismatic preachers or Pentecostal testimonials. And i shifted ground into uncertainty when i read evangelicals with a special scent on cessationism. I have had my fair share of doubt when it comes to divine action. I never became a sceptic though but the uncertainty nevertheless lurked at the back of my mind.

What helped me to move slowly but surely away from the dead-end argument on this uncertainty are these books:

1. "Happiest People on Earth" by John& Elisabeth Sherill - the life of Demos Shakarian and the story of the Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship International

2. "Appointment in Jerusalem" by Derek Prince - the story of Derek prince first wife (before she died) Lydia Prince.

3. "Surprised by the Power of the Spirit" by Dr. Jack Deere - Its the story of a cessationist professor of Hebrew and old testament at the Dallas Theological Seminary who got sucked up into full Pentecostalism despite himself.

4. "Surprised by the Voice of God" by Dr. Jack Deere - Its an intentional semi-autobiographical sequel to the first one.

5. "Blessing or Curse: you can choose" by Derek Prince - a somehow autobiography of Derek Prince pilgrimage into the 'profondeur' of the supernatural.

6. "They speak with other tongues" by John Sherill - a journalist investigation about the phenomena of the speaking in tongues in modern day.

All these books are written with a specific idea and argument in mind of the authors but it is not done in separation with the life of the authors. That is what makes them really powerful. Its power comes from the impression that it gives to the readers to share the authors' struggles and search for answers to the hard questions that troubled them, allowing then to the reader to have the opportunity to jettison extreme scepticism and hostile mind predisposition along the way, making, hence, the argument easier to be understood. As Ravi Zacharias usually point out that at time "The heart cannot accept what the mind has rejected" and the reverse can also be true.

I guess this might be one of the reasons the Bible brings God's instructions through long stories as much as he does that through immediate teachings, and prescriptive laws.

If you can be brought to understand the story of something you may well be able to resolve some mysteries surrounding it.

Have a nice weekend in Jesus name.

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