Chapter 2: Literature Review Part 2
My work focuses on a new methodology that advocates using the monomyth to present the Gospel of Christ. Even without using the monomyth as an apologetic tool, very little has been written on using storytelling as a mode of presenting the Christian faith in evangelism with nonbelievers. In Searching for God Knows What, D. Miller (2004) built the case that systematic theology does not accurately represent the scope of the Gospel. Miller (2004) suggested that when presenting the Gospel, especially to non-Christians, storytelling is the optimal mode of teaching.
Miller’s (2004) justification for this is that the Gospel “was a message communicated to the heart as much as to the head; that is, the methodology was as important as the message itself, that the ideas could not be presented accurately outside the emotion within which the truths were embedded” (p. 56). Accordingly, God did not communicate these truths “to us through cold lists and dead formulas” (Miller, 2004, p. 55). Miller (2004) listed two biblical narratives as examples, those of Job and Hosea; both of which express truths of God’s relationship with mankind, not through didactic statements, but through stories that are capable of expressing feelings, emotions, and experiences in a manner that lists of factual truths could never do proper justice (p. 216).
The conclusion of Searching for God Knows What is a presentation of the Gospel using William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which Miller (2004) described as “the most beautiful explanation for the gospel of Jesus ever presented” (p. 218). In the balcony scene of the play, Juliet offers herself to Romeo, if he would be willing deny his name, which meant denying his family and his very self. At this proposition, if Romeo chooses to deny his name, “he will not gain love for love’s sake, but rather Juliet herself […] and the two shall become one” (Miller, 2004, p. 225). Juliet initiated this exchange with her spoken invitation of love, and then Romeo’s response completed the transaction of love with his trust in her words. Miller (2004) noted that Christ gave a similar proposition saying that only people who are willing to hate their families and even their own lives are worthy to be his disciples (p. 224). Through Jesus’ call of discipleship and also the pact agreed upon between Romeo and Juliet in the balcony scene, the image portrayed is that “[t]rue love, love in its highest form, must cost the participants everything. Both parties would have to be willing to give up everything in order to have each other” (Miller, 2004, p. 224). In the story of Romeo and Juliet both parties deny everything, finding union in their deaths, just as Jesus and his followers are likewise united in death through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.