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Jared C. Wilson Releases The Storied Life: Christian Writing as Art and Worship with Zondervan

Posted May 9, 2024 by Michaela Classen

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Midwestern Seminary celebrated the May 7 release of The Storied Life: Christian Writing as Art and Worship (Zondervan) by Jared C. Wilson, assistant professor of pastoral ministry and author in residence at Midwestern Seminary. In The Storied Life, Wilson explores the themes of writing and story, offering spiritual and practical insights to help readers see the power of story in the Christian life and grow in the skill of writing for God’s glory.

“If you are familiar with the work of Jared Wilson, you know he is a master writer and creative storyteller,” said President Jason Allen. “In this new book The Storied Life, Jared gives his audience a peek behind the curtain, so to speak, on how we can all grow in our ability to write and be creative for the glory of God. I am thankful for Jared’s work, and I am excited to commend to you The Storied Life.

In the introduction to The Storied Life, Wilson shares his aim to help writers understand the eternal significance of their craft. “Creative writing is in fact a reflection of the creative meaning of the universe, a direct derivation from the Creator himself. He has made everything with words and has given even of himself as the Word.”

The book encompasses two parts, beginning with “Reflections on Story,” in which Wilson explores concepts like the nature of good writing, the relationship between liturgy and story, and writing as a spiritual activity.

In part two, “Cultivating the Storied Life,” Wilson offers insight from his rich experience to help writers grow in skills including voice, organization, and composition. He also addresses the importance of loving readers through writing well, stewarding platforms and publishing, and writing as spiritual warfare, discipline, and calling.

Wilson noted several key ideas in the book that he is especially excited to share with readers, including, “Practical application—from a spiritual perspective—on fighting writer’s block; seeing writing as an aspect of the spiritual disciplines; and seeing good writing as a reflection of the ‘liturgy of Story.’”

Reflecting on his hopes for the impact of The Storied Life on the Church, Wilson said, “My primary hope is that Christian writers and aspiring Christian writers will get a fuller sense of how their efforts contribute to the glory of Jesus.”

He went on to say, “Seeing our creative endeavors as a vital aspect of building for the Kingdom and adorning the gospel is a great way to be encouraged in our efforts and inspired to work toward truth and beauty.”

In addition to The Storied Life, Wilson has authored 26 books, including the novels Echo Island and Otherworld, and has contributed to many others. Known for his focus on the centrality of the gospel to Christian life and church ministry, Wilson has previously explored the relationship between God and story through his books The Story of Everything: How You, Your Pets, and the Swiss Alps Fit Into God’s Plan for the World and The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables.

The theme of story has interested Wilson since his childhood, shaping his walk with Christ over his lifetime. He shared, “In The Storied Life, I talk about as a child reading There’s a Monster at the End This Book and being really taken in with how it engaged the reader and had a twist ending. That children’s book captivated my imagination in terms of my understanding of story. Of course, as I grew in the faith, I began to see how the Christian story is not some detached thematic concept but a living history that God has told and is telling through Jesus and, by His Spirit, through followers of Jesus.”

Numerous writers, scholars, and ministry leaders have commended The Storied Life, expressing gratitude for Wilson’s gospel-centered approach to writing and highlighting the book’s value for students of writing.

Trevin Wax, vice president of research and resource development at the North American Mission Board, said, “For years Jared Wilson has served us with his writing—his ability to arrange words and adorn truth so we experience the good news afresh. Here he points us to the Story that gives shape and significance to all our work.”

Tim Challies, author and elder at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Canada, recommended the book to aspiring Christian writers, saying, “If you have ever dreamed of deploying your gift or talent of writing for the glory of God and the good of His people, this is definitely a book for you.”

The Storied Life: Christian Writing as Art and Worship is now available for purchase.

To read an excerpt from The Storied Life, click here.

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