Long Story Short by Andy Frost
We tell stories because they help us describe what is important to us and how we think we fit into what is going on. So what place might we have in the story of God told in the Bible?
Long Story Short
By Andy Frost
Reviewer John Rackley
Andy Frost, director of Sharing Jesus International, firstly looks at the importance of stories; our own and the wider story of the life and times into which we are born.
When we turn to our life and times he considers how people in our type of society are drawn to the power of three questions and their accompanying stories:
How can we happy?
How can we be safe?
How can we make a name for ourselves?
Like a modern day cousin of Qoheleth, the author of Ecclesiastes, he demolishes our reliance on finding satisfactory answers to these questions. He concludes that the complexity of the signs of the times always defeat us, and we either opt for reliance on our small and ultimately unsatisfactory stories or must seek a bigger story in which to live.
So he introduces us to God’s story, which is a crash course in a soft evangelical retelling of the God’s people, Jesus the Son of God and the opening years of the Church.
The final chapters of the book aim to explain how we can find our place in God’s unfolding story and concludes with three further questions; reflecting on your roles and relationships:
What are you passionate about?
What is unique about you?
How can you better embrace your sub-plot in God’s story?
I would hazard a guess that what I have read is an edited version of Frost’s sermons and talks, which is easy reading. It could be used as material for a church weekend away or if an individual wanted to review their life during a time of retreat.
The real test would be, as Frost hopes, that it holds the attention and meets the needs of an honest person seeking a meaning for their life.
All churches have contact with such people – all it requires is for them to be handed the book by someone who has confidence in its contents and the two together share an Emmaus road journey.
John Rackley is a Baptist minister and member of the Peterborough Diocese Network of Spiritual Directors