All humans are not only story-tellers, but story-dwellers, argues author Dillon Thornton. In other words, the stories we tell and believe about ourselves shape our identities and communities, our actions and sense of purpose. We live in a world that is constantly telling us stories and urging us to find ourselves in them, whether that’s the world of advertising, telling us a certain weight and body type equals beauty and that a certain dollar amount equals success, or the world of social media urging us to react faster and faster and with more and more outrage. Yet these stories don’t offer lasting hope or purpose.
A lot of Christians feel they should know more about the story of the Bible, but it’s a daunting task. The Bible is composed of 66 books, written by 30 different authors over 1500 years, and spanning many types of genres. Thornton found in talking to friends that many didn’t realize the Bible contains a cohesive and coherent narrative arc, from creation to new creation, that could be distilled into 50 short pages. And that’s what he’s done–taken the grand histories of the centuries and given us a flyover view. His target audience is not the Bible historian but rather the average person, Christian or not, who wants to get a grasp on the who, how, and why of scripture.
Long Story Short does an excellent job of giving an overview of the entire Bible and the meaning behind the message. Thornton is someone who loves stories, as his frequent apt movie quotes show, and he understands how stories can be life-changing. It’s a fast read, but an excellent resource for anyone. I actually have a degree in Biblical Studies, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It would also be ideal for someone who is new to the study of the Bible, or who just wants to better understand a book that’s been so influential to human history. Highly recommended.