Sunday, August 14, 2016


Sunday Reflection: Megan Willome asks the right question

In the August issue of Wacoan Magazine, Megan Willome did a Q & A with me about my book which comes out in two weeks, Prosecuting Jesus. I love the way it turned out, because Megan asked questions that made me think about things in a new way, and really understood the book.

Here is one question and answer that, when I read it in the magazine, made me realize that her question had led me to an important answer-- one that I probably had not articulated in this way (even to myself) before:

WACOAN: The book is full of controversial topics besides the death penalty, but they’re not presented as topics or arguments. They’re presented as stories. What have you learned about the power of stories?

Osler: It’s something that took me a long time to learn. Part of learning it was doing the trial. In doing the trial, I had to see the Bible in a new way. I had to virtually memorize the Gospels. And something that reinforced in me was the centrality of narrative, that Jesus tells stories all the time. He lives his story. He always starts the story with where the listener is. He talks to the woman at the well and talks about water. It’s the opposite of what academic so often do. We start off trying to impress people using words they don’t know or referencing places they’ve never been. Jesus does exactly the opposite.

Unfortunately, I myself have too often been that kind of academic. I need to work on that...

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P.S. Meant to mention, we were in church last night, and the Gospel reading was Luke 12:49-53. John leaned over to me and whispered, "Those are Osler verses."
I hope so! I have used those in the trial...
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