What did Jesus come to teach

Was it all about where we go when we die, or much, much more?

True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In

InterVarsity Press, 2008

“Brilliant. . . . Tools like this can change the world.” — Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life


Caleb has been a Christian for a long time. But he can’t bring himself to share his faith with anyone because it doesn’t sound like good news anymore. Christianity’s claims come across as hallow, arrogant, and intolerant. Worst of all, it feels like Christianity is just about “saving souls,” giving people an escape ticket to heaven while the world falls apart. There must be more to it than that …

In this engaging narrative, James Choung weaves the tale of a search for a Christianity worth believing in. Disillusioned believer Caleb and hostile skeptic Anna wrestle with the plausibility of the Christian story in a world of pain and suffering. They ask each other tough questions about what Jesus really came to do and what Christianity is supposed to be about. Along the way, they discover that real Christianity is far bigger than anything they ever heard about in church. And the conversion that comes is not one that either of them expects.

Join Caleb and Anna on their spiritual journeys as they probe Christianity from both inside and out. And discover a new way of understanding and explaining the Christian faith that really matters in a broken world.

Featured in a four-page interview in Christianity Today.
2008 Nominee, Outreach Magazine Apologetics Resource of the Year.

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True Story Videos

Here are two videos based on the book. Part 1 is an unscripted three-minute video explaining the Christian gospel:

And here’s part 2, highlighting possible responses to the question asked in part 1:

More Endorsements

“Brilliant. . . . Tools like this can change the world.”
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life

“Amid the clutter of domesticated Christianity, Choung’s book creatively reminds us all–academics, pastors, activists and grandmas–of the true revolution from which we come. Much of pop-Christianity is obsessed with the self-centered goal of finding our life, forgetting that Christ’s call is to lose our life for others in order to find it. This book is an urgent cry not to settle for the dream of America over the dream of God, nor to allow cynicism to suffocate the hope that another world is possible. May True Story inspire us to continue to shout the Story with our lives–even in the most abandoned corners of the empire.”
Shane Claiborne, lover, author, recovering sinner, founding partner of The Simple Way, author of The Irresistible Revolution

“James has found a simple way to convey to both Christians and non-Christians that the good news is cosmically good–a diagram that does the best job I’ve encountered yet of placing our personal stories in the context of God’s bigger story.”
Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making, editorial director of the Christian Vision Project

“One of the most important theological conversations going on these days is about the shape of the biblical narrative. Not surprisingly, many leaders in this conversation are those working in the intellectual ferment of the college campus and at the intersection of church and the emerging culture. James Choung is one of these important voices, and this book opens up important new vistas regarding the story we find ourselves in.”
Brian McLaren, author/activist

“The book is amply ‘storified’ and is a huge, huge step forward in evangelism. Pastors and parents need this book; youth ministers and college ministers need this book.”
Scot McKnight, author and blogger, Jesus Creed

“Choung demonstrates how as Christians we do not need a formula to be an effective witness for Christ, rather we need to honestly seek and engage the truth of the gospel in our own lives, and engage our friends with their questions, pointing them to the light and freedom of the gospel.”
Doug Birdsall, executive chair, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization

“It’s the task of every generation to articulate and create languages and forms that connect with their generation. James Choung does this beautifully in his book, True Story. I highly recommend this book as a fresh articulation and narrative of what is truly the good news! This good news is not just what we’re saved from but what we are called to! It’s more than a fire escape . . . it’s a revolution of justice, advocacy and radical compassion. I’m in!”
Dave Gibbons, lead and founding pastor, Newsong Church, and CVO, Xealot, Inc.

“Choung’s ‘napkin theology’ and its ‘four-worlds’ diagram promise to be for evangelism in the twenty-first century what the ‘Four Spiritual Laws’ were for the twentieth century.”
Leonard Sweet, author of The Church of the Perfect Storm, podcaster of the weekly “Napkin Scribbles” podcast