The Big Story, Part 2

Thank you all for your comments on the original video. I appreciate the encouragements. And I’m thankful for those who offered suggestions and input. Most of your objections are already covered in the upcoming books, True Story and Based on a True Story. At the same time, I can see the need for a bit more clarification at points.

So, here’s the sequel. In the original video, the presentation ends with a question. It asks the listener to identify with one of the four circles. And then stops.

This video is what I might say afterward. I include all four responses in this one video (instead of making four different videos), but normally I would just present one and then invite someone to follow Jesus. Many of you felt that the original presentation was lacking in certain ways, and rightfully so, because it wasn’t complete. It was hard to capture the entire presentation because it’s supposed to be more like a conversation, but here’s my attempt to close the loop.

Hopefully, I won’t need to make this into a trilogy.

Update: The Big Story was featured in Christianity Today, and they have graciously agreed to let me post a .pdf version the article, “just this once.”

Update 2: The training document has been updated and reposted.

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  1. James, I came across your name in the comments section of David Fitch’s site where someone referenced your name, so I googled and found you. I really like what you’ve developed here and have linked to you on my website. Great, creative thinking. Thanks!


  2. Hey James!
    Just wanted to say congrats on the new book. I checked it out on Amazon. I also saw the original video a while ago, I think on youtube. God’s definitely blessed you and opened up some exciting doors for you, and it’s cool to see that happening.

    BTW, I’ve always liked the look and feel of your site, so I loosely designed mine on inspiration from yours.


  3. really like the concept, James. One suggestion – use a different shape instead of the inner ‘circle’ – and I suggest a triangle (representing at least to believers the triune nature of God). This will help in the imagery to avoid the ‘doughnut’ / ‘life-ring’ and will make the place of God stand out more in the diagrams.



  4. Hi GordonG — That’s a great idea. Where you were a few months ago? =). Anyway, graphically, it doesn’t look as nice, but I like the symbolism. If you end up trying the diagram with a circle, let me know how it goes.

    By the way, how did you find out about this diagram?


  5. G’day James
    Came across a reference to your material in the comments of David Fitch’s site.


  6. Thanks for letting me know. And all the way from Australia as well! Peace and joy to you.


  7. my husband (bryant) just discovered this and is in complete awe- it’s like his holy grail of gospel narrative. we’ll definitely be using it with our friends and future friends. praise God for this!

    (bo yun kim introduced this to us- we were volunteer staff under her leadership at ucla)


  8. James,
    I came across your work on IVP’s site and found the link to both of your Youtube videos. While as a believer I appreciate your call for people to follow the example of Jesus in loving one another, I must say that your presentation falls woefully short in adequetely explaining the true nature of the gospel. It seems as though you are overly focused on the social component (which unfortunately has been too long overlooked by many) while missing the primary message of the cross and resurrection which is forgiveness of sin. Your failure to even mention hell, sin, and eternal punishment misrepresents the incredible magnitude of the grace that God has given to us through the salvation that Christ offers. In avoiding some of these things and not taking the time to better explain the forgiveness component of the cross and resurrection which is the primary function (just read Romans) your presentation comes off more as, “let’s make the world a better place with a little of Jesus in the mix.” Further, and I am not sure if you did this purposely or just mispoke, at one point in your second video you said that we all will be living on the new earth and that is just not true. Scripture is VERY clear that only followers of Jesus will be dwelling in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-27). Overall, your presentation really is not the gospel. It has parts of the gospel scattered in with some humanism. You seem to be calling people to try to make the world a better place through following Jesus’ teachings and example, rather that calling them to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38). I apologize if I sound uncharitable or unloving for this is not my aim. I simply am a brother in Christ who cares deeply about the gospel and acurate proclamation of it for the sake of those who hear.


  9. Hi Trevor –

    Thanks for your thoughts. I hear your heart, and the desire to protect the truth and integrity of the gospel. And in that, there can be little blame.

    But I’d be interested if you felt the same way after reading my book (or even the booklet). I may not use the words you’re talking about, but the concept of “sin” is woven deeply into this presentation, even more deeply than the individualistic version that’s captured in the American church. Is our sin only relative to God? Can there be other results of sin?

    Also, I’m interested in wh