More Unintended Consequences of Message Efficiency
Last time I wrote that even though Jesus’ return forms the resolution of the gospel story-arc, few include it in their gospel presentations. The rush to message efficiency pushes it offstage.
Meanwhile, research shows that any story’s resolution empowers its influence over the hearts and minds of those who read or hear it: “A story’s resolution is essential to an audience’s ability to figure out whether and how a story applies to them.”
And so giving up on Jesus’ return in gospel messaging means we’re giving up a powerful ally to motivate faith.
We’re also giving up on a powerful ally to motivate a Christian worldview. And I don’t mean just the ethics of a Christian worldview, but the ability to interpret history, and current events and influences, relative to God’s overarching plan for the world, and our part in it.
This ability directly connects to our participation here and now in the eternal and abundant life that Jesus asserted is ours through faith in him. Without it, we more easily divide our participation in the world into sacred and secular, thereby becoming unwitting collaborators with a world that carries on immersed in the values of man’s day.