The gospel was never intended to be dry words on a page. The whole point of the message is to engage, captivate and communicate with us.
In the early days the gospel wasn’t a book. It was conversation. Joe Bloggs couldn’t read and write, so information spread by word of mouth; stories passed from person to person, village to village. Accuracy was checked and preserved by elders and teachers.
Folks who met Jesus told their friends. They in turn told theirs. The story spread. People heard it, responded and were changed. It captured their attention and they were hungry for more. They related to it because it made sense of their own circumstances. In short, it was culturally relevant.
Now, in 2009, there’s loads of potential for us to find the bible – even the biographies of Jesus in the gospels, kinda hard going. That’s no surprise in an era where we want everything bite-size and online. But the gospel doesn’t have to be dull. It shouldn’t be. Through the ages, God’s story has been re-presented in forms that restate its message in contemporary ways.
Manga Messiah invites you to take your suspicion that the bible’s only ever going to be dull and irrelevant and park it for a couple of hours. Instead, open a beer, grab some crisps, settle in and kick back. Get stuck into a fiercly paced story. Lose yourself in a biography packed with life, death, murder, intrigue, supernatural powers. And let a question lurk in the back of your mind as you do it: might it actually be true?
I gave a couple of teenage guys a copy this weekend. It was night time and they were hanging out under a streetlamp, hoodies up, smoking. If I’d sauntered up and offered them a copy of a gospel, I’m guessing I might just’ve spent the night in hospital. Instead, as I left them to it, one of them was leafing through it, no face lost with his mates. Can’t be bad.
You can check out excerpts of Manga Messiah here: http://tiny.cc/7Oi99