Bryan P. Stone on the Gospel and Reading the World

A fundamental assumption of this book is that what is especially needed within the Christian movement today is vigorous and sustained thinking about both the gospel and the world, about scripture and human existence, about text and context. When we read the Bible but are not able to read the world, we risk reducing the gospel to either a weapon or a toy. In the first case, the gospel is hurled at the world like a spear, brandished like a sword, or wielded like a club. It is a clumsy and uninvited sword – one that does not speak to us but merely stands over us and against us. It may sting, but it doesn’t heal.

In the second case, the gospel is a play thing – an amusing distraction to be played with, fondled, and polished. It has no relevance or function in a world of corporate mergers, unemployment, and global commerce. It is little more than a topic on the Internet or a slogan on a bumper sticker. It answers questions few people are asking.

Bryan Stone, Faith and Film: Theological Themes at the Cinema (Chalice Press: 2000), p. 3.

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