Art of Storytelling

I’ve mentioned Dick Staub and his podcasts on Kindlings Muse – a discussion of art and faith. He had a recent interview with Ralph Winter, who is a Hollywood producer. He’s worked on several highly successful films, such as X-Men 1 and 2. He is also a Christian who has managed to have a long career in Hollywood though the ups and downs of the “culture war”.

You can listen to the whole interview here. I just wanted to pull out a couple of points they talk about regarding the art of storytelling.

Ralph is talking about screenplays in particular, but he talks about the importance of knowing who the hero is, and how the most powerful moment in the movie is when the main character reveals “something about themselves they didn’t know at the beginning of the journey.” He feels this is when the reader or viewer is going to get emotionally involved.

Staub and Winter go on to discuss C.S. Lewis and his statement about a great book being one you want to read over and over. Winter relates this to movies, and talks about some of his favorites, like Ben Hur and Gladiator. He loves the journey, the choices the leads make, and he ultimately says he wants to live in that world.

So, how do we create a world that is engrossing enough we want to live there? How do we make our protagonists engaging enought that the reader is taken along the journey and experiences something when the protagonist has their “revelation?”

I think these are good points to ponder, but they also help me segue into the next topic I wanted to talk about…next time…

Art of Storytelling

I’ve mentioned Dick Staub and his podcasts on Kindlings Muse – a discussion of art and faith. He had a recent interview with Ralph Winter, who is a Hollywood producer. He’s worked on several highly successful films, such as X-Men 1 and 2. He is also a Christian who has managed to have a long career in Hollywood though the ups and downs of the “culture war”.

You can listen to the whole interview here. I just wanted to pull out a couple of points they talk about regarding the art of storytelling.

Ralph is talking about screenplays in particular, but he talks about the importance of knowing who the hero is, and how the most powerful moment in the movie is when the main character reveals “something about themselves they didn’t know at the beginning of the journey.” He feels this is when the reader or viewer is going to get emotionally involved.

Staub and Winter go on to discuss C.S. Lewis and his statement about a great book being one you want to read over and over. Winter relates this to movies, and talks about some of his favorites, like Ben Hur and Gladiator. He loves the journey, the choices the leads make, and he ultimately says he wants to live in that world.

So, how do we create a world that is engrossing enough we want to live there? How do we make our protagonists engaging enought that the reader is taken along the journey and experiences something when the protagonist has their “revelation?”

I think these are good points to ponder, but they also help me segue into the next topic I wanted to talk about…next time…

The Kindlings Muse

I’d like to highlight a resource I’ve been turning to for the past few months. The Kindlings Muse is a ministry of Dick Staub, the author of The Culturally Savvy Christian (required reading for followers of this blog).

Dick has been involved with faith and culture for many years now. He’s a radio host, pastor, author, and champion for the arts. The Kindlings Muse is a weekly podcast from Dick, along with various special guests. I finished listening to a series by Os Guinness this morning (an excellent talk on “You Only Live Once-Calling, the ultimate game plan for life”).

Topics generally focus on faith and creativity in some way. When the Oscars rolled around, there is an annual “theology of the Best Picture nominees” show that was very interesting. Other topics I’ve listened to include theology of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and an excellent interview with Anne Rice.

You can subscribe to it for free at iTunes, or just see the site regularly for the updated podcasts. As the tagline for the show states, it is “an intelligent, imaginative, hospitable exploration of ideas that matter in contemporary life.”

The Kindlings Muse

I’d like to highlight a resource I’ve been turning to for the past few months. The Kindlings Muse is a ministry of Dick Staub, the author of The Culturally Savvy Christian (required reading for followers of this blog).

Dick has been involved with faith and culture for many years now. He’s a radio host, pastor, author, and champion for the arts. The Kindlings Muse is a weekly podcast from Dick, along with various special guests. I finished listening to a series by Os Guinness this morning (an excellent talk on “You Only Live Once-Calling, the ultimate game plan for life”).

Topics generally focus on faith and creativity in some way. When the Oscars rolled around, there is an annual “theology of the Best Picture nominees” show that was very interesting. Other topics I’ve listened to include theology of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and an excellent interview with Anne Rice.

You can subscribe to it for free at iTunes, or just see the site regularly for the updated podcasts. As the tagline for the show states, it is “an intelligent, imaginative, hospitable exploration of ideas that matter in contemporary life.”

The Culturally Savvy Christian, Day 1

My discussion of Dick Staub’s book, The Culturally Savvy Christian, was interrupted for a sudden blog tour. The forecast is tour free for the next few days, so I can predict a return to the previous topic. Here’s the first post, to refresh things.

The book is broken into three sections based off of this statement:


The culturally savvy Christian is serious about faith, savvy about faith and culture, and skilled in relating the two.

First, under “savvy,” Staub makes the case for both popular culture and Christianity being generally shallow and vacuous. Pop culture is described as being superficial and soulless, spiritually deluded, but it has a powerful influence (p5). Yet he doesn’t pull punches with modern American Christianity

My Favorite Book from 2008

I posted last week about my favorite books from 2008, but I must confess that it was a list of my favorite fiction from ’08. The book I read that meant the most to me was The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite by Dick Staub. It is a mouthful of a title, but it was a powerful book that encouraged and challenged me deeply. I blogged about it before I finished it, and it held true through the end of the book.

I’m very interested in discussing the intersection of faith and culture, as the dearly departed site Infuze Magazine used to put it. I’ve always tried to be serious about Jesus and His Kingdom, concerned not just about the “sweet by-and-by”, but also the “nasty here and now.” I learned about understanding life through a Biblical worldview at a fairly early age, so I’ve tried to view the culture I partake in through that lens. As I’ve delved into writing as a hobby and hopefully part of my vocation, I’ve become more focused in this area.

The Culturally Savvy Christian is a book that fully reaches the sweet spot of faith and culture, yet it is very worth reading for its insightful analysis of our current faith circumstances in the West as well as popular culture.

My original post for this started to break the book down, but I realized quickly that the book was too deep to properly address in one post. Check back over the next week or so as I attempt to break down the book a little bit, and hopefully we’ll be able to discuss our own opinions on faith and culture.

My Favorite Book from 2008

I posted last week about my favorite books from 2008, but I must confess that it was a list of my favorite fiction from ’08. The book I read that meant the most to me was The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite by Dick Staub. It is a mouthful of a title, but it was a powerful book that encouraged and challenged me deeply. I blogged about it before I finished it, and it held true through the end of the book.

I’m very interested in discussing the intersection of faith and culture, as the dearly departed site Infuze Magazine used to put it. I’ve always tried to be serious about Jesus and His Kingdom, concerned not just about the “sweet by-and-by”, but also the “nasty here and now.” I learned about understanding life through a Biblical worldview at a fairly early age, so I’ve tried to view the culture I partake in through that lens. As I’ve delved into writing as a hobby and hopefully part of my vocation, I’ve become more focused in this area.

The Culturally Savvy Christian is a book that fully reaches the sweet spot of faith and culture, yet it is very worth reading for its insightful analysis of our current faith circumstances in the West as well as popular culture.

My original post for this started to break the book down, but I realized quickly that the book was too deep to properly address in one post. Check back over the next week or so as I attempt to break down the book a little bit, and hopefully we’ll be able to discuss our own opinions on faith and culture.