Miserable Literature

Mark Greene form the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity has written an excellent article about the new phenomenon of Mis-Lit, or Real Life Literature. This is literature that chronicles a miserable time of life or aspect of human existence. They often don’t offer much in advice but speak of the triumph of the human spirit for the author (whose situation has usually improved by the time the book is written). Whole sections in bookshops have been given over to this kind of writing.

He concludes that the current fascination for ‘real stories’ gives an opportunity to tell testimony – stories of what God has done for Christians in helping them out of difficult situations.

Yesterday, I was speaking in a church in Nottingham. At the door you could pick up two free booklets. One was ‘Why Jesus?’ which explains the Gospel. The other was a little collection of stories about the difference that knowing Jesus had made to some of the people in that church. A good and biblical balance. We rightly focus on the Cross – what Jesus did. But we also tell the story of what Jesus is doing now, not to diminish the Cross but rather to more accurately communicate its implications. It is because of the Cross and the Resurrection that when we come to faith in Christ we are more than followers of a teacher, patients of a therapist, clients of a therapist, we are in fact new creations in Christ. New creations.

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