Well it is to me…

Today I was sharing some reflections on what it means to be people of faith and live lives that are attractive to those who we live amongst.

I used Tim Winton’s book ‘The Turning’ and the title chapter to illustrate the point. Sherry is a beautiful woman who lives a life that is appealing and intriguing to Raelene who is doing it tough. She is a wonderful picture of how mission happens well.

I wanted to give copies of the chapter out today, but I didn’t…

The more I read the chapter the more I saw its R rated qualities. There is graphic sex, violence and a fair swathe of bad language. I had a couple of copies for those who wanted it, but felt that random distribution might not be wise.

Ironically we watch this kind of stuff on TV every day without batting an eyelid! Yet a novel requires us to use our imagination and in that it seems there is more power.

Winton has a turn of phrase that is also amazingly potent (and not for the faint hearted). I knew it would offend so I treaded gently, but as I did I realised that the written word has a very different power to the visual image.

I thought it was interesting 🙂download 20 million miles to earth movietristan isolde download free free spider movie download download 007 the spy who loved me divx

15 thoughts on “Interesting…

  1. I’m housesitting at the moment and they have that book. Have read you trout on about him so thought I’d better check it out myself.

    I’ve read the first 3 chapters so far, seems pretty decent.

  2. That chapter is fantastic! The whole book is really worth reading, but that chapter is as powerful a story about evangelism outside of scripture that I’ve heard. But you’re right – there are parts of it that get pretty graphic!

  3. Oh but goodness it’s such an excellent illustration.

    I will contest your point – perhaps because I have read all my life and probably did read things too early that were well beyond me. I find a movie of the same kind of content to be far worse than a book. I find I can tone down the visuals, or at least find them less confronting and can pull back – maybe because I am given option to use my imagination.

  4. Winton does a great job at exploring the process of building trust, at negotiation of boundaries, the gradual revelation of the brokeness and healing behind the attractive lives of Sherry and her partner.

  5. do you think it’s because we’re desensitised to visuals these days…? we’re so used to having to filter stuff out of our peripheral vision.

    also, i think, as a aussie, you can read his books and the people are real… just like you and me or the bloke down the street.

    we all know someone from one of his books, and maybe see a bit of ourselves reflected in all of his characters – that cuts a bit close to the bone, especially if you spend a lot of your time trying to “look holy”.

  6. Hamo, can I ask an honest question? I will explain why after I ask.

    How, as a Christian, can you read this?

    I genuinely ask, NOT because ‘I’ think you shouldn’t…but because this is the struggle I am facing in my church at the moment (see my post later today on my blog for more details.)

    How do you theologically, and spiritually, find it ‘ok’ to read stuff that talks about GRAPHIC sin. The glorifies sin. ETC. Wouldn’t ‘good Christians’ refrain from this sort of stuff? If you were saved, wouldn’t the Spirit convict you on this?

    As I said, i don’t ask because I believe this…but because I am seriously struggling with these kind of comments at my church and, well i’m struggling to stand up in light of them!

  7. Hey mate. I just put that chapter in the Reader for the unit I am teaching at Vose Seminary starting next week. Do you think I might run into some trouble?

  8. Nah – not in that setting Steve. Hopefully they have enough nouse to be able to see beyond it!

    The other reason it won’t be an issue is that most people won’t read the reader anyway!

    What’s the unit?

  9. i haven’t read the book but thrive on finding God’s truth threaded through the narrative of people’s lives – personally i could write a “graphic” story about my life and God’s finger prints would be all over it – many people in the Body of Christ might say it was trash that should not be read by a “true” believer – what does that say about us? How can we talk about our journeys from a sinful corrupted life to a grace filled redemptive life if we take that part out of the narrative? It so would not be the same! My soul aches because I must keep silent before my brothers and sisters about the darkest parts of my life. How many people outside the church are too ashamed to enter into fellowship with us because they are ashamed of who they are?

  10. Paul exposed to the whole world that there was a relationship going on in the Corinthian church between a young man and his fathers wife, I dont see him giving us all the graphic details , he called it sin and it needed to be dealt with. God has seen and continues to see all the graphic details of our lives and still loves us and forgives us , you might share things with those closest to you but why would you want a heap of people to know and isnt God enough. I actually think its become a bit of a fad , everyone wants to write a book or tell their story, well then what……… maybe deep down we struggle to actually let go of the past, we feel we have to keep telling everyone.

  11. Whilst I agree with you Leslie that we should think on the “lovely, pure and holy” things as Scriptures commands us to, know this: in Scripture, you have to wade through a whole lot of unlovely stuff to get to the stunning conclusion. Winton, as a Christian, has a deep-seated eschatological framework going on in his works that belies a “don’t read the rude bits” statement. I say read it and revel in the Jesus who can save people in the most miserable of circumstances. Our problem is that by and large we are a flabby bunch who never have to deal with the shocking evil that men do to other men (and women), an evil that only the grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ can conquer.

  12. Hey Steve , thanks for your comment, I agree you do have to wade thru some unlovely stuff in the scriptures but I dont find anything that I would find offensive as far as bad language and sexually explicit content, I have read many true stories of peoples lives where they have had awful experiences at the hands of evil men, take Corrie Ten Boon for instance , I am sure she would have seen and experienced unthinkable things in the german concentration camps but she didnt have to give all the graphic details to give us an understanding of what it was like, and there are many who have come to faith in Christ and havent ffelt they have needed to go into the nitty gritty details.

    I guess too it is fiction so the guy has had to make up these stories perhaps based on his life experiences but it has still come from his own imagination.

    For me personally I would rather give it a miss, there are some things I would rather not go back to.

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