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On Stories

Last week was all about stories.

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Durham CU ran a week of events with the theme of stories.

As well as public events (apologetic talks and discussions, interviews with a host of different people to discover their stories, and talks from John’s Gospel on ‘lives changed by Jesus’) the CU ran a really excellent social media campaign, to engage with this idea of story.

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It’s been interesting to see how positive the response has been. People seemed to really like the idea, and have appreciated the question that has been doing the rounds of the university over the last few weeks:

What’s your story?

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I found this quote from Alasdair MacIntyre, which goes some way to explain what’s going on:

Man is essentially a story-telling animal. He is not essentially, but becomes through his history, a teller of stories that aspire to truth. But the key question for men is not about their own authorship; I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?
Alasdair MacIntyre | After Virtue

The fact is that the question, “What’s your story?” has become another way of asking, “Who are you?”
Stories are the way that we engage with the world, the way that we understand who we are, where we have come from, and why we think what we think.

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And of course, story is the way that God speaks to us.

“Of course I do not mean that the Gospels tell what is only a fairy-story; but I do mean very strongly that they do tell a fairy-story: the greatest. Man the story-teller would have to be redeemed in a manner consonant with his nature: by a moving story. But since the author of it is the supreme Artist and the Author of Reality, this one was also made . . . to be true on the Primary Plane.”
J.R.R. Tolkien | Letters, 100–101

We’re story people. The fact that ‘What’s your story?’ is a question that is being asked is a good thing. It enables us to legitimately point people to the Author of Reality, the one who has written the Story that we’ve found ourselves in. A story that is true and beautiful at the same time.

“For this is the marriage of heaven and earth: Perfect Myth and Perfect Fact: claiming not only our love and our obedience, but also our wonder and delight.”
C.S. Lewis | Myth became fact

In summary: telling stories

Oh, and they also made an amazing video.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Catie March 15, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    This is what our church weekend away was about x

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