Tag Archives | story

Which Narrative | William H. Willimon

William H. WillimonThe modern world said, That’s only a story. The postmodern world has realized, There’s only story. So the question is not, Shall our lives be narratively constructed? But, Which narrative shall form our lives?

— Willimon, Calling and Character, 110.

Calvin Miller | Preaching

I preach about 50 messages every year—in addition to teaching a number of Bible studies. I’ve learned that the single most important way to grab someone’s attention and connect is to tell a story. In an effort to become more effective, I picked up this book on preaching from a master story teller.

The strength of this book was the perception Miller has gained from years of preaching. Here are a few examples of his insight:

The textless sermon is a stammering talk by a prophet whose amnesia will not allow him to cherish the call. (101)

I think God has never used a cookie cutter to mass-produce prophets. (180)

People don’t want to know the truth you read (they can read for themselves). They want to know how you personally feel about the truth you read. (182)

My biggest frustration was the old bait-and-switch with the subtitle. I expected to glean insight from a seasoned story-teller. I expected a book on “Narrative Exposition.” Instead, I read a text on sermon preparation that spoke about the importance of storytelling while sharing very little about how to actually tell a good story.

Overall, Miller’s tone and quick sense of humour made this book an interesting read. I just wish he spent more time on the subtitle.

The Wind Through the Keyhole | Stephen King

They’re back—almost.

Sure, Stephen King manages to insert his Dark Tower oriented multiverse into most of the novels he writes, but this one’s different. In the introduction, King suggests shelving it between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. This is Dark Tower 4.5.

The structure of this book is interesting. It’s a story within a story within a story with connections (beyond the obvious) between the narrative levels. The framing narrative is a violent storm that traps Roland and his crew for a while. During the storm, Roland told a story about his younger days. In those younger days, Roland told a story which forms the heart of the book.

The central story is the best. It’s a coming of age tale about a boy who bests a familiar enemy. The middle story is feels too contrived and predictable. The outside narrative is just there to make this an official Dark Tower volume.

I enjoyed the story. Anyone who has read the 7 Dark Tower volumes will want to pick this one up. It just feels like a bit of a let-down that Roland’s current ka-tet wasn’t called into action.

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