A Report on Story

Back from the Story conference in Chicago where I spoke last week.   The sold-out event featured artists and businessmen addressing young Christian leaders on how best to spread their message.  I spoke about some of the darker and more twisted stories and themes that led me to faith, including Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and, completely against the author’s atheistic and possibly psychopathic intentions, Justine by the Marquis de Sade.  (It was my philosophical reaction to the Marquis – not my own sex life as people usually assume – that led me to give Jason Harrow a history of S/M in Empire of Lies.)

I have to say, the audience’s reception of what I had to say was a pleasant shock.  I was already off the stage and speaking to my friends from my young adult publisher Thomas Nelson when I noticed the applause was going on a long time and looked up to find I was receiving a standing ovation!  A very moving  and gratifying moment.

Maybe their kindness prejudiced me, but I’ve said it before:  I find Christians – evangelicals in particular – the most misrepresented and unfairly treated group of people in intellectual America.  But then, someone warned them that was going to happen.  Oh yeah:  Jesus.

I noticed someone recording my speech and if it becomes available, I’ll post it here.

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  • ari

    I would be interested in your speech. Can it be printed? I know I hear things different than I see them. Different parts jump out.

    It’s one of the things that make church interesting. I grew up bible believing Baptist, and I read the bible cover to cover several times. A few years ago we joined a more mainline church following a liturgical reading calendar, and entirely different things would just pop out of the reading. It was startling, like it was an entirely different book. I’d go back and read, and think ” I’ve seen that, and it was a speed-bump, not something to notice.” I wonder if my kids will need to switch to a private bible reading church when they are grown, to “hear” god’s word, anew.

    I notice on Bill Whittle’s essays, too. They are different in video, and in print.

    So, please, both.

  • K

    So, is your speech be a refrain of the “conservative disengagement” theme from the last post?

    I agree an artist has to paint with a full range of values. But there’s a difference between loading your pallet (de Sade et al) and wallowing in the filth. Emersive contact with secular media is like trying to remain a free market capitalist while being brainwashed daily in a North Korean prison.

  • Nora Charles

    Christians hiding from the big bad secular world reminds me of Jesus’ admonishment to not let you light shine under a bowl, but put it where people can see it.

    The same with all aspects of our lives – secular media included.

    Christians are meant to be lighthouse beacons – to offer hope and be a true reflection of our Creator not to be the frozen chosen waiting for the Good Lord to come back and smite the evil unbeliever.

  • http://writeaboutnow.christianstandard.com/ Jennifer Taylor

    Your session was one of my very favorite. Thanks for making the time to come and share with us. You deserved the standing O.

  • Bea M. Garcia

    Looking forward to the speech. Great stories are so important–more so than we can imagine. Our Lord could have shared principles, values, and laws but instead He told stories. Andrew, please keep telling them. Looking forward to meeting-up again with Charlie West again in November.

  • Anonymous

    Your talk meant more to me than I ever anticipated. I wasn’t expecting the tears, and they are a huge reason I didn’t come & speak to you personally – but your words held tremendous weight to me as an artist. Thank you for reminding me of faith’s inescapable grip on the grittiness of life.