All things that "strike a chord" in me.
I admit, I have a hard time with theology being boiled down to sound bytes. You know, those cute phrases that can seem to turn Jesus into a product rather than a Savior. T-shirt theology, bumper sticker faith, whatever you want to call it, it can get kind of annoying. Kind of like that one friend you have that always quotes movies or TV shows.
Oh, wait. That would be me.
Yeah, I’m “that” guy. The quote geek. I should just apologize to everyone for that now. Sorry.
It’s just that the movies I quote hold great memories for me. One of my favorites is “The Princess Bride.” There are just so many great, quotable lines from William Goldman’s script.
“Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togevver today.”
“As you wish.”
“Anybody want a peanut?”
And, of course:
“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
That one never fails. It always takes me back to the infamous duel between Westley and Inigo. If I really try, I can still quote that whole scene, beginning to end.
It’s always better when someone else joins in. When I lived in Oklahoma, my friends and I needed very little encouragement, once one of those lines had been uttered, to complete the whole scene (sometimes the entire movie). I always smile when I remember those days. Even now, just watching that movie, or hearing one of those quotes, my mind goes back to that time, and reminds me of countless other stories with those people and the memories we shared, whether they have to do with the movie or not. It transports me to another time.
And maybe that’s the point of the aforementioned Christian catchphrases that seem to be coming into prominence. Not so much to turn faith into a slick, sound-byte-laden advertising campaign, but as a way for followers of Christ to be taken back to a time, a place, where they heard significant truth and experienced a moment with Jesus, floods them with memories and stories of events long past, helping them to speak about those times with such fondness and emotion that anyone listening can’t help but be drawn in.
After all, isn’t that what the Great Commission (in itself a sort-of Biblical catchphrase) is all about? Telling our stories about what Christ has done, so that those around us (and eventually the world) can actually know Him?