The Bible Is a Story
Can you list any of the manufacturing differences between a Nike shoe and its competitors? Probably not. But if you are a certain age, you probably have the Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla television commercial by Nike indelibly stamped on your long-term memory. And that’s just one example of the explosion of storytelling in America.
BY STAN GUTHRIE
Economists are busy “documenting the increasing variety and quality of all forms of story-based media.” Factual recitations of product features are out. Marketers know that if you want to sell something, wrap it in a story.
This is nothing new, of course. We’ve been telling stories to each other around the campfire or in our homes for millennia—whether the subject is Homer’s Odyssey or the primeval narratives from Genesis. Stories are not mere entertainment. They shape the way we see the world. They also shape us.
Human beings, you see, are hard-wired to respond to stories. Researchers know that the “love hormone,” Oxytocin, is released when we hear a story that resonates. This increases our levels of trust, compassion, empathy, and pro-social behavior. But that’s just the beginning…
“Given all this, why do His followers so often present God’s written Word, the Bible, as a dry, academic textbook full of important but ultimately uninspiring and disconnected facts? Why are we so lax in taking it up? Perhaps it’s because we’ve forgotten that the Bible—written over hundreds of years and comprised of many different literary genres—is itself a story. In fact, it is the Story. – Stan Guthrie