Mike Cosper, The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long For and Echo the Truth. Wheaton: Crossway, 2014.
This is a brief review—mostly quotes to whet your appetite. Overall, I want to say I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about TV shows and movies I’ve never watched—or care to watch, really. Cosper shows how the stories we tell reflect—to greater or lesser degree—the grand story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. There are echoes of Eden all around us; and this books helps us hear them well.
Here are some great quotes:
“The world is like a faded beauty who looks in the mirror remembering her youth, mourning the long-gone glory of Eden. She is now battered and scarred, not merely by age, but by tragedy, war, and defeat. She feels all too heavily how far she’s fallen, and in her sadness she tells mournful tales of glory lost. Of heroes who fail and unravel. Of sin and consequences. Of evil that triumphs and prowls. Of darkness that swallows all who draw near.” — p. 34.
“God, in his wisdom, chose to give his image-bearers imagination, so that any time we get together, we can sit down, tell a story, and be carried away.” — p 56
“For centuries, people have gathered and told tales meant to inspire hope and shed light on the struggles of life. They’ve told about men who conquered dragons and raised mountains, who rescued damsels and rose from the dead. Our hearts swell when we hear and see the stories– when we see Frodo escape from Mount Doom, or Iron Man cut off a portal to intergalactic invaders. We cheer when Prince Phillip kisses Aurora and the kingdom comes to life again. We weep when Harry Potter rises for the dead, lifted by deeper and older magic than even the most powerful wizard in the world can conjure: love. Then the theater lights lift and we return to the harsh daylight of the real world. We can hear the stories of life, death, and resurrection, knowing in our hearts that it really did happen.” — pp. 190-191
“Storytelling is a great gift because humanity is a great gift, something God himself delights in. When we engage great stories, we engage with people, seeing ourselves reflected in their desires and faults. If the big story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation is the background of all our stories, then humanity is the common foreground— broken image-bearers trying to make sense of life.” — p. 216