Reviewed by: Z. Bulut Yasar
The StoryChanger: How God Rewrites Our Story by Inviting Us into His (An Introduction), by David Murray. Crossway, 2022. Paperback, 128 pages, $12.66 (Amazon). Reviewed by OP pastor Z. Bulut Yasar.
C. S. Lewis, in the second book of his Space Trilogy, Perelandra, writes himself into the story as the friend of Ransom, the main character, and plays a crucial role in the great battle. It is widely believed that Rembrandt put himself into his paintings to reflect and capture the mood of his scenes, as in The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. In her popular Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novel series and short stories, Dorothy Sayers writes herself into the plot as Harriet Vane, who marries Lord Peter and helps him solve mysteries. Each author and painter steps into the story to bring about a desired outcome, to change the narrative, and to help the plot move forward positively. Yet all of them remain mere pointers as they push us toward the greatest story, into which the Author truly entered and changed the plot forever: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
In the first three chapters, Murray shows how our stories are messy and filled with sadness and sorrow. In the beginning it was not so. In fact, in the garden hill of God there was joy, friendship, true satisfaction, and intimate communion with the Creator. But all this changed through the temptation of the villain who deceived Adam and Eve and made them and all humanity villains in our story. And as Murray points out in the fourth chapter by taking us to the story of the Samaritan woman, we have been trying to rewrite, renew, and change our narrative ever since. But anything we try to attach ourselves to for a better story, for a more glorious plot, turns out to be the efforts of a failed ghost writer who is incapable of bringing about a change in our storylines. In the next four chapters, Murray explains that Jesus is the only true “StoryChanger” who can cosmically change our story and even transform us inside out as we hand over our pen to him (by trusting in him by faith). Murray highlights that, through Jesus’s death and resurrection, he cleanses and saves us from our miserable chapters and propels us forward by renewing us internally for a glorious conclusion. In the final chapters, Murray focuses on how our transformed narratives are even further fed and read in the community of God, as many stories intertwine—challenging, encouraging, and receiving and giving hope to each other.
This is an immensely practical, easily applicable, and deeply personal book. Not only does Murray directly speak to the reader with side comment boxes in each chapter, but also, at the end of each chapter, he shares how the StoryChanger stepped into his life and changed his story forever. Moreover, each chapter ends with review questions and a prayer, which makes this book a great resource for small groups. Although the story metaphor may at times feel overused, this is a great book that focuses on the Creator who came into his creation in the person of Jesus and saved us from a devastating conclusion.
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