The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth

The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433537080
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 08/31/2014
Series: Cultural Renewal
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 334,535
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Mike Cosper is the director of the Harbor Institute for Faith and Culture, where he works to create resources for Christians living in a post-Christian world. Prior to that, he was a founding pastor at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he served for sixteen years as the pastor of worship and arts.

Timothy J. Kelleris the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He is the best-selling author of The Prodigal God and The Reason for God.

Collin Hansen (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as the editorial director for the Gospel Coalition. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine and coedits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter at @collinhansen.

Timothy J. Kelleris the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He is the best-selling author of The Prodigal God and The Reason for God.

Table of Contents

Foreword Timothy J. Keller 11

An Important Word before We Begin 13

Introduction: A World Full of Stories 15

1 The Stories We Tell 27

2 How Far Is Too Far? 39

3 The Ghosts of Eden 57

4 The Search for Love 77

5 O, How the Mighty Have Fallen 91

6 Frustration 115

7 Shadows and Darkness 133

8 Redemptive Violence 149

9 Heroes and Messiahs 171

10 Honey Boo Boo and the Weight of Glory 193

Epilogue (And a Word to Christian Filmmakers) 212

Works Cited 220

Notes 225

General Index 229

Scripture Index 235

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Mike helps us make sense of what is true and good in the stories our culture consumes, and he does it without leading us toward syncretism. With the amount of TV and movies our culture devours, this book is a must read.”
Matt Chandler,Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Mingling of Souls and The Explicit Gospel

“Like Paul at the Areopagus, Mike Cosper walks through the cultural artifacts of our entertainment industry and effectively says, ‘I can tell by your sitcoms and dramas and even your romantic comedies that you are a storytelling people who long for more. Let me introduce you to the Storyteller you don’t even realize you long to know.’ The result is a book that will change how you watch TV and movies. But more importantly, this might change the conversations you have with your neighbors.”
James K. A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College; author,Imagining the KingdomandHow (Not) to Be Secular

“Cultural engagement is a delicate but necessary balance for all who claim Christ. Mike Cosper insightfully examines narratives in pop culture to reveal the larger story of God at work in the human heart. This book is a must read for pastors and all those who seek to engage the culture with the powerful story of the gospel.”
Ed Stetzer,Billy Graham Distinguished Chair ofChurch, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College

“Drawing upon a dazzling breadth of stories told through film, television, and literature, Mike Cosper examines—critically and charitably, wisely and generously—the culture-shaping power of stories and how all reflect in some way the grand story of creation, fall, and redemption. Skillfully and compellingly written, The Stories We Tell is essential reading for anyone consuming, engaging, or shaping the culture.”
Karen Swallow Prior, author, On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books

“There is no one I would rather read on issues of popular culture than Mike Cosper. This book is not another ‘here’s how you find the gospel in Superman’ project. Cosper analyzes popular culture with depth and with wisdom, seeing both the common grace of conscience all around us and the depths of human sin. As Cosper interacts with popular culture, he models for us how to listen to the voices around us in order that we might engage them with the mission of Christ. This book is about more than the media he analyzes. It is also a training ground for how to pay attention to our neighbors.”
Russell D. Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

“The stories we tell rattle around in our minds, capture our imaginations, and give shape to our living as they echo the themes of God’s grand redemptive story—creation, fall, and redemption. These are not only the themes of film, literature, and television, but are also the inescapable passages of every person’s life. Cosper gives us new eyes to see and new ears to hear the stories we tell and in so doing invites us to celebrate our inclusion in the one story with a happy ending that actually never ever ends. I love this book and I think you will too.”
Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

“Evangelicals are notorious for consuming mass quantities of pop culture behind closed doors and sanctimoniously railing against the culture in public. It’s time to stop the hypocrisy and get serious about thinking theologically about the TV shows and films that stir our imaginations. In The Stories We Tell, Mike Cosper plays the role of the Interpreter in The Pilgrim’s Progress by clarifying our favorite episodes and movies in light of both law and gospel, and urges us, ‘Stay until I have showed thee a little more!’”
Gregory Alan Thornbury, President, The King's College; author, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism

“Cosper presents a thoughtful, gospel-centered analysis of culture that will resonate with the current generation. Whether you love TV and movies or hate them, they are indeed the central sounds and images of our culture, and they call for discerning theological critique. And this book delivers. Mike Cosper tells us the story about the stories we tell, and does so wisely and well.”
Grant Horner, Associate Professor of Renaissance and Reformation, The Master’s College; author, Meaning at the Movies

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