by Steven James
Storyteller Recaptures the Mystery of the Ancient Scriptures
Author Steven James leads readers to (re)experience the greatest story ever told
Johnson City, Tenn.—“Only God could tell a story this ludicrous and then claim that it’s true,” says Steven James, who penned Story: Recapture the Mystery (Revell, February 2006), which makes the Bible come alive in provocative and poetic ways, encapsulating the mystery and beauty of the Christian story.
James, a professional storyteller from East Tennessee, grew up in the church but fell in love with Jesus at age 21 on Easter Sunday at his bosses’ church. “Easter is a love story; I’d never realized it before, but I had to experience the entire Christian story to be truly moved and changed by it,” he says.
Through 30 short chapters, James retells key elements of the Christian story—from Adam and Eve in the Garden, to the Israelites plea for freedom and the love/hate struggles between humans and God in the Old Testament. Story illuminates Jesus miraculous birth and daring ministry on earth, building to the “rising terror” of the crucifixion and rediscovery of freedom following the resurrection.
A Story Unlike Any Other
At one point, James paints the brutal murder of Able in the Old Testament through the eyes of his brother Cain. He views Jesus dancing and turning water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana through the testimony of the bewildered bride. At another, he writes as a frightened onlooker as Jesus struggles to carry his cross to Golgotha, and captures the chaos sweeping through the Holy Land following the resurrection. All the while, James relates the events of the Bible to life on Earth today.
“I’m thankful Jesus didn’t come to start another religion. Jesus didn’t arrive on earth to debate theology but to propose marriage. In a very real spiritual sense, God is courting us. Christianity is wild. It’s intimate. It’s heartbreaking and soul-mending,” writes James.
However, James believes the real meaning of Easter has been lost somewhere in the last 2,000 years. “The bunny has stolen the rabbi and stolen the show,” James writes. “Easter has evolved into just another nice, harmless, spineless, little holiday…when it’s supposed to be about a wrestling match between life and death, a cosmic struggle between good and evil.”
James invites readers to meet Jesus again—or for the very first time. “It’s all one story. And only when you finally untangle it, see it unfold, and enter it for yourself do you realize that the story has finally entered and at last untangled you,” James writes.
“Come along for a journey full of wonder, tears, joy, despair and hope revealed through the eyes and heart of a storyteller.”-Publishers Weekly, starred review
My Review: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
This is not a Bible study or a theological book. It is a series of stories and poems that bring to life the pivotal stories in the Bible in such a way that we relate to the people who went through these events. Through storytelling, something Steven James is a master of, we understand how these Bible stories relate to us in a new way. I recommend this book.