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When a counselor asked me to read 1 Corinthians: 1-2 for homework, I had no idea my understanding of writing would change forever.

Verses 18-31 of chapter 1 concern ‘The Wisdom of God,’ where Paul points out God’s intense love for irony. He notes that “God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (NASB 1.21). To flesh out the context, Paul is comparing the Jewish demand for power, the ‘attesting signs’ of miracles, with the Greek conception of wisdom that we see in ancient Greek philosophy. Both people groups wanted the Gospel to fit into their preconceived molds, but Paul explains that God is happy to let the Gospel be seen as foolish because “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1.25).

But what does all this have to do with writing? Looking at verse 17 where Paul has avoided “cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void,” you might conclude that the only vehicle for the Gospel should be plain speech. Pure evangelism. Sunday morning preaching. But when we follow Paul’s thought, we reach a different conclusion. He states that “God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong… the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are” (1.27-28). When you read of weak things, what do you think? I picture people: the socially powerless, poor, or physically defenseless. And that seems like a valid conclusion. But what about things that are not?

What things don’t exist, yet are used by God to destroy things that do?

Stories.

Narnia does not exist, but it has destroyed very real pride, apathy, and lack of wonder in my life. Middle Earth is a mere figment of the imagination, but it destroys cowardice and passivity with its tale of courage and sacrifice.  Fantasy as a whole creates ‘things that are not,’ which God uses to bring freedom from ‘things that are.’
By faith, in humility, we can trust Him to use our imaginations to share a foolish Gospel.