MRT 11.1 Jan 2016 – Tell Them the Old, Old Story

This issue of Mission Round Table addresses the place of story in our lives and our proclamation of the gospel.
What is it about stories that we find so gripping? In part, it is their description of the human condition. Whether based on a historical incident or entirely composed in the mind of the teller, a good story speaks to our basic needs as humans. This explains why our self-understanding is often grounded in stories and why they supply the foundations for our ethical and religious ideas. It also explains why story is such a valuable means of sharing the gospel and nurturing people in the life of faith. There is a sense in which telling the old, old story again and again enables both tellers and listeners to have their thought lives and their actions penetrated and guided by the one grand story of Jesus and his love. The more we rightly encounter the story, the more it informs our worldview and unites us with the God of the story.

As some of the following articles make clear, it is essential that we tell this story in a way that is understandable to our listeners. And though the words of the biblical story do not change, the way our listeners hear the words can vary greatly.


Textuality and orality in the Bible – Jerry Hwang

Resources for Gospel Storytelling

Orality Praxis in Discipleship and Church Planting – Larry Dinkins

Orality, Preaching, and the Gospel – Desmond Soh

A Journey Worth Taking – Christine Dillon

Mini-Bibles – David Eastwood

Story Telling – Martin Goldsmith

“Hymns of the Everlasting Hills: The Written Word in an Oral Culture in Southwest China,” PhD dissertation by Aminta Arrington – Reviewed by Walter McConnell

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