Southern style

Here’s something great. InterVarsity’s Southeast Region — which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Lousiana — adapted the Big Story for their context. It’s the same core message, but with a different flavor and much tweaking and tinkering. I’m envious that they had the luxury to create an eight-and-a-half minute version — they can therefore fit a lot more. This video may appeal to those who wanted more biblical language in their presentation of the Christian faith.

Kudos to Eric Peterson and his team for creating this. And the original version can be found here.

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  1. Hmm, looks to me like this still won’t appeal to people who:
    – think the Gospel is all about justification, not sanctification
    – think salvation is all about salvation from Hell
    – think trying to transform the world is missing the point since the world will be destroyed one day anyway, and it distracts us from the Great Commission
    – think that the Holy Spirit can only move people to repentance if we quote the Bible word-for-word at them
    – think that anything that makes Christianity relevant to the human situation is replacing the True Gospel of Christ (TM) with a watered-down, manmade version for itching ears

    But hopefully it should appeal to less fundamentalist evangelicals.


  2. Abigail — true. No argument from me.


  3. Eric Peterson May 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Hey thanks for the kudos for this Southern version. One correction…our region includes Mississippi not Missouri.

    to Abigail: true this won’t make everyone happy, but my goal was to utilize the good thinking of James Big Story outline and its diagram while simultaneously adapting it to the “Bible Belt” Southern U.S. It was an attempt at contextualization to a world much different from SoCal. It also was well received at InterVarsity’s Southeast regional chapter camp weeks this month. May God take our inadequate and feable work and make it useful for His purpose.


  4. Ooo — I’ll make the correction.


  5. I’m sort of torn. Even though I live in CA, I’m drawn to this Southern style b/c it puts more emphasis on the personal aspect of the Gospel and that our ultimate problem is with God. However, there’s a bit much Christian-speak and it’s almost nine minutes long.

    Has anyone seen another adaptation of James’ napkin drawing gospel at It’s also a bit long but it tries to place more centrally personal sin/salvation. (Note: I’m not advertising or endorsing them.)

    I’m personally a bit dizzied just in comparing these three versions. I’d like to see what others have to say.


  6. I’m a missionary in Brazil.

    Has your book and your presentation on YouTube been translated and adapted to the brazilian portuguese speaking world?

    If not, I’d like to make myself available to help see that we can get into Portuguese and out to the folks down here.

    I was raised in Brazil and have now lived here for over 40 years. Should you like to know more about my background and church affiliation, please get in touch.

    By the way, really believe you have provided a great and clever tool to enable us to better introduce others to His kindgom.

    Richard Hoover
    Assemblies of God Missionary


  7. Hi Richard — thanks for the offer! I don’t even know if I can make that call — I’ll have to ask my publisher. Thanks for being in touch!


  8. Hi Richard — IVP got back to me. Here’s what they said:

    We usually try to grant translation rights to publishers rather than
    individuals. This usually helps ensure a quality translation and wider

    I recommend that you tell Richard Hoover that InterVarsity Press is
    coordinating the translations for your book. He may email us at to inquire about the Portuguese rights. Since
    he is a missionary with Assemblies of God, he may want to recommend the
    book to Casa Publicadora das Assembleias de Deus, the publisher for the
    Assemblies of God in Brazil.

    The rights manager also offered to answer any more questions you might have. Email me if you’d like her contact.


  9. […] of recently published, “True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In” and even mentions a Southern slant (below) on his usual presentation […]


  10. I have created a powerpoint of James’ presentation. I will be happy to share it with all, if Jamess gives his permission.


  11. Of course, Don, share away!


  12. @AndyRowell While browsing I found the "Southern version" of The Big Story I think its a good adaptation.


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