God Is a Storyteller and He Calls His People to Love and Tell Stories

sistine-chapel

by John Ellis

During our annual church men’s retreat, I had the privilege of spending about thirty minutes discussing philosophy, art, and the Bible with the guest speaker. He’s an accomplished and feted theologian, and I was happy to discover that he is also incredibly knowledgeable and conversant about art, specifically storytelling.

At one point, our conversation turned to the parallels between ancient Greek drama (post-Thespis) and the Old Testament prophets, specifically Ezekiel. As we discussed the various dramas enacted by the priestly-prophet known for his vivid storytelling, the guest speaker threw in a rueful aside about how many within the reformed tradition are opposed to drama in the worship service. He then added the off-hand comment, “Pointing to Ezekiel, I tell people that skits and drama are appropriate for the worship of God.”

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Unfinished Theatre Business


empty theatre

by John Ellis

The first time I truly stepped through the fourth wall while acting, merging the world of imagination with the world of reality, I was terrified. So much so, I almost didn’t make it to my seat at the table where expectant, half-smiling audience members sat, staring at me. Every instinct I had was screaming for me to stay behind the door jamb serving as a stand-in for the proscenium arch.

No bright stage lights. No break between seats and stage. No flimsily constructed set where I lived and which the audience was only allowed to observe from a distance. No tacitly agreed upon relationship that kept me over here and the audience over there. There was nothing to hide behind as I sat down and began the play, making eye contact with the audience as I spoke directly to them.

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The Storyteller’s Bible Study: Part One


bible-study

by John Ellis

Lord willing, I’m planning on turning these two posts into a series. In later installments, I’ll work through passages of Scripture using the method I briefly describe in this post. I’d also love to write a book about it, providing more detail about this method of Biblical interpretation. We’ll see. For now, I pray, if anything, that these two posts will prompt a greater desire in your heart to read and study God’s Word, whether you agree with my method or not.

In As You Like It, Jacques delivers Shakespeare’s famous words, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

True and truer still. We are characters written by God into His great story of His cosmos. A story that He wrote, produced, directs, and stars in. God is the grand auteur and storyteller that all other auteurs and storytellers either point to or rebel against. Burrowing even further into God’s Divine storytelling, He has graciously chosen to reveal His main plot, His primary story, in the Bible.

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