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Christian Speaker: How “The Whole Bible” All Started

The Making of – The Whole Bible in One Act
Christian Speaker
Steven Mosley
People all over the country keep telling me, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
And I have boredom to thank for going through the Bible as a Christian speaker.
Well, sort of.
As a kid I could never quite figure out why church had to be so boring if God was, in theory anyway, the most exciting personality in the Universe. The sleepy experience in the pew just didn’t seem to fit the Almighty Creator people kept referencing.
And so, in the back of my head, as I processed my youthful rebellion, I determined that there just had to be a way to make church not boring. That would be my revenge for all those dull hours in the sanctuary. Would it be possible to do it as a Christian speaker? Could you go through the Bible—and make it compelling?
Much later in life, after I’d become a producer and writer for Christian television, I happened on a poster at the Pepperdine University theatre. It advertised something called “Accelerated Shakespeare.” Curious, I read about it. Apparently a group of actors raced around the stage, throwing bits of dialogue at each other, summarizing most of Shakespeare’s major plays. It was supposed to be engaging, and great fun. And I realized they were trying to make these classics of Western Literature accessible to folks who could never sit through a complete Shakespeare play.
Then I started wandering, what if you could do that going through the Bible, the whole Bible? What if you could show how 66 books form a compelling story—-as a Christian speaker?
And that was the thought that would eventually result in three dramatic presentations I’ve been doing for several years now:

Through the Bible as:
Chosen Garment, The Whole Bible in One Act
Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery
Where’s the Plan? The Whole Bible in One Testimony

Most of us nod our heads to the idea that there is a great story of salvation that God has woven through the pages of this book penned by so many different authors through the centuries. It’s supposed to hold together. But I wanted people to get a feel of that in one sitting. So each presentation is about 40 minutes long. It’s full of Scripture—paraphrased in various forms—as poetry, dialogue, anecdote and exhortation.
The presentations have evolved over the years. You get feedback as a Christian Speaker; you tweak the narrative so that it flows better, so there’s a rhythm between the humorous segments and the deeper segments.
And I have to say, the story has grown inside me as well. What I experience is the grace that tumbles out at the end of it. So often we miss the forest for the trees. Delving into the phrases and words and reconstructing the meaning behind the sacred text has value of course. But there’s great impact in seeing the whole picture. And I think we get a better handle on what the Word is really about. What’s really important.
Yes Christians have been known to fight endlessly over what appear to be—in the next century– incredibly inconsequential things. Doctrinal details get blown up into epic church battles. So it’s good to remember what’s at the heart of the story.
A big part of Scripture’s inspiration, I believe, lies in its story. God fashions telling points out vast stretches of history. God moves empire and epoch to a certain climax. It’s this big picture (exemplified in Daniel’s prophecy based on the Nebuchadnezzar statue that traces the succession of empires over centuries) that inspires people. We get a firmer grasp on the fact that God really does have a Big Plan. It’s a plan that stretches through history. And it’s a plan that can grab each one of our lives in meaningful ways.
“Chosen Garment” is about all the ways God has chosen us. It progresses visually through the garments of the Patriarch, the King, the Prophet—with short asides on Israel mumbling, grumbling and stumbling through the wilderness: “Who does this Moses think he is anyway? Did he pick up divine wisdom spending the last 40 years talking with sheep?!”
People feel passion of a prophet like Elijah, telling Ahab:
You’ve abandoned God’s covenant, to do whatever you like,
So I am here to tell you that God is going on strike.
And it all comes to a climax of course in Christ’s choosing—of the unlikeliest candidates as first citizens of His kingdom.
I never get tired of representing this remarkable Savior who can say:
I choose you, wild man of Gerasene, dragging a broken chain.
There’s a disciple in there somewhere; what’s your real name?

I’ve developed other ways to be creative as a Christian speaker too.

Through the Bible as—Likely Suspects

“Likely Suspects” takes people through the Bible story—looking back from the “scene of the crime,” the cross of Christ. It’s a mystery story focusing on why Jesus had to die.
A hardboiled detective, Sammy Slade, imagines he can solve this “cold case” once and for all. He throws the spotlight on Likely Suspects—enemies of the Messiah, the biggest villains of Scripture. To get into their heads he must imagine them as real characters in our world. The turf-protecting Philistine becomes Hillbilly Lester, the brutal Assyrian Sennacherib becomes a city street Tough Guy, the stuffy Pharisee becomes British Officer Montague.
The presentation reaches a climax when the detective realizes that the likeliest suspect is hidden deep in each one of our hearts.

Through the Bible as — Where’s the Plan?
In “Where’s the Plan?” I take a trip through the Bible that illuminates my own journey from the anger and confusion and rebellion of the post-divorce world to a redemptive discovery that God does indeed have a plan for our lives. It’s a search for home again, a way back to Eden.
And people do “get” the grace, as I go through the Bible in these ways. It’s something people want to affirm and celebrate. A science professor told me this was the most moving worship experience of his life. A young mother told me it was all she could do to keep from standing up and waving the banner of Christ’s garment with me at the end of the presentation.
As it turns out, if you’ve got church baggage, if you’ve got issues with unhealthy religion—sharing well as a Christian speaker is the best revenge.

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