Monday, August 6, 2012

Storytelling as Apologetic


This is one of my new favorite quotes, and I just had to share it. 
Storytelling reflects the Christian God and His providential determination of the free acts of human beings. A screenwriter providentially creates characters based on the kind of story he or she desires to tell. Authors determine every single word, every single act, good and evil, of all their characters, down to the jot and tittle, sometimes working for hours on just the right turn of a phrase or subtle plot twist. Even events that seem like chance occurrences in a movie, like a freak car accident or the lucky throw of dice, are deliberately written in by authors to direct the story exactly where they want it to go. 
Yet when an audience watches the movie, we see characters freely acting and morally accountable for their actions in a world where some things appear to happen by chance. Our knowing that the characters and their stories are predestined by an author does not make them any less valuable or their stories any less meaningful. But this apparent free will and chance are shown by the end of the story to be parts of the ultimate self-revelation of the main characters and others—and that revelation was what the storyteller predestined in his orchestration of all the events. There is a plan to it all, even if the characters don’t know it at the time. 
Thus storytelling reflects the ultimate storyteller of all history, God Himself. In this way the act of storytelling itself becomes an apologetic.
- Brian Godawa, in a 2003 interview with Relevant Magazine 

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