J.R.R. Tolkien helped lead a young C.S. Lewis toward Christianity. How did he do this? By showing him that we thirst for imaginative stories because we are, in fact, living within the true story of the world in which God is the author and we are His creation.
This true story of the world has more drama, action, wonder and peril than anything we could create through human imagination. It is this true story that we are called to enter into with Christ and to continue to tell as His children lest the heavens alone should have to declare His story on our behalf (Psalm 19).
How might we open the eyes of our neighbors today and draw them into the true story of the world and the wonder of God’s reality? We have long relied on preaching, teaching and apologetics to present the Gospel, but these approaches are not the only means of conveying God’s story, nor are they equally effective in every time and culture.
C.S. Lewis himself later questioned this “frontal” approach, which had worked somewhat effectively in Britain during WWII. Instead, Lewis spent his later years focusing on storytelling as the means by which one might slip past the “watchful dragons” of secular culture. He saw that his own culture had, by the 1950s, turned the page on a day when one could successfully appeal to reason and that traditional apologetics could only take us so far in our ability to convince Western culture of the truth of the Gospel.
Yet, what if stories might still allow us to awaken a sense of longing within our friends, enticing them into taking their first steps down the path of truth, even if their heads are not yet ready to go.
Keep reading in The Power of Parables for a Watchful World – Part 2