Finding the Story Behind the Story

May 23, 2015

Every story, whether in movie or music, has a story behind the story. I’ve learned a lot about this from the work of my friend Mike Cosper, who I’ve interviewed several times. Another voice is Kevin Harvey, who has written a new book, All You Want to Know about The Bible in Pop Culture: helping Christians see gospel themes in pop culture. This doesn’t have to be in a ham-handed way, but in a redemptive way, tracing the thin lines of the big Gospel story in the stories we tell ourselves.

I had the chance to interview Kevin this week for Leadership Journal. Here is one of the questions I asked him:

Sometimes Christian themes are overt, sometimes they are subtle. What motivates otherwise secular artists, filmakers, and songwriters to include Christian themes?

Just like the psalmists in the Bible were simply communicating to God, sharing their hearts through their art, today’s writers are doing the same thing. If you want to know what is on someone’s mind, look at their art. Look for what they’re writing, not just saying. But beyond what they are intentionally communicating, a secular artist, whether he believes it or not, has been created by God, made in his image, and has a hole in his heart that can only be filled by a relationship with his creator. I believe that perhaps without being able to connect all the dots, a writer recognizes the need for redemption, grace, and forgiveness in each of our lives. He realizes that we cannot save ourselves and that some things in life can only be explained through supernatural means. Themes such as sacrificial love and forgiving the unforgivable hit home with everyone, because we were created with a need for them in our lives.

Read the rest of the interview here: