For something completely different (if Chris's post on The Clash wasn't enough!)...Here's a great Christmas gift.
Last night, I had the pleasure of going to a book launch for the release of a fascinating new book by Alex MacDonald (Senior Minister, Buccleuch & Greyfriars Free Church of Scotland, Edinburgh) entitled Tell Me The Story.
Originally given at evangelistic guest services at Buccleuch, these story-sermons are based upon personal encounters with Jesus recorded in the gospels but are told from the first person perspective. From the back of the book, "The people who tell their stories include: Mary--the mother of Jesus; Gaius Maximus--centurion; Joanna's story of John, the Baptist; the woman at the well; Simon the Pharisee; the Gardarene demoniac; Jarius; Simon Peter; the rich young ruler; blind Bartimaeus; Zacchaeus; the Apostle John and Marcellus, a Roman officer. " These stories creatively narrate firsthand accounts of the greatest story ever told. Using a unique blend of imagination and proclamation, Alex puts you face-to-face with Jesus.
For more details, go to Christian Focus Publications.
Two of the sermons not in the book are available online. Unfortunately, there is no direct link. From the church's website, go to sermons>scroll down>audio stories>'He Died My Death' or 'He Invaded My Dreams.'
Here is what others have said about Tell Me the Story:
Having heard the chapter on Joanna I can appreciate the living situation from which the skilful telling of these stories has come. They are a practical and helpful reminder that we often fail to capture people’s imagination in telling the exciting story the narrative of the New Testament provides. The writer’s motivation is that of an earnest communicator of the gospel who commendably tries every helpful approach to help his readers and listeners to understand the greatest good news there is.
Good stories have a way of getting round people's carefully constructed defences. Through imaginative retelling, these tales bridge the centuries. We feel like contemporary witnesses, participants even, seeing the truth and feeling its power. May these stories draw many to the hero of the biggest story of all.
Alasdair I Macleod
Alex MacDonald has managed here to present us with a series of stories that superbly manage to retell well historical facts in a way that magically take us to the lands and times in which they actually happened. A book for young and old, for seasoned preachers and truth-seekers, and ultimately for anyone who simply likes stories well told.
In his new book Tell Me the Story, Alex MacDonald retells the ancient tale of Jesus in the contemporary tongue of narrative account. With delightful turn of phrase and surprising perspective, we are invited to hear afresh the storyline of the Gospel message...These dozen eyewitness accounts of Bible figures and their companions will stir your heart to treasure again the old, old story of Jesus and His love!
W. Duncan Rankin