Telling a Better Story

How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age

by Joshua D. Chatraw

On Sale: 2020-06-30

Book Summary

In Telling a Better Story, author Joshua Chatraw presents a new, inside-out approach to offering reasons for the Christian faith, one geared toward conversations with unbelievers that are relevant, respectful of where they're at, purposeful, and always honoring of others and Christ.

About the Book

Christianity Today 2021 Book Award Winner: Apologetics & Evangelism

Telling a Better Story clears a path to a more effective, empathetic apologetics for today—both for experienced apologists and those new to sharing their faith with others.

Today's Christians often view the practice of defending their faith as pushy or unnecessary. Won't it just be taken for proselytizing? Don't many unbelievers find it offensive? Many Christians have shifted to a strategy of hoping that our lives will show Christ to our neighbors—and, while this is certainly good, it's no substitute to actively telling people about Christ.

In Telling a Better Story, author Joshua Chatraw presents a new and refreshing way to engage in apologetics that will help you tell the story of Christ in a holistic, culturally-contextual manner that—while being respectful—helps unbelievers imagine a more complete happiness and a better meaning to life.

Telling a Better Story will give you the tools to:

  • Understand the cultural stories that surround us.
  • Recognize how these secular stories have shaped the way many people think.
  • Learn how to tell God's story in a fresh way that allows today's younger generations to see it as a more meaningful and more hopeful story than the scripts around it.

Finally, you'll also learn how to deal with the perennial issues and common objections to Christianity.


'An extraordinary exegete of both Scripture and society, Joshua Chatraw has become a leading thinker and writer about what a powerful and penetrating apologetic strategy requires in our late-modern age. Mining insights from the likes of C. S. Lewis, Charles Taylor, Augustine, and many others, he shows readers inspiring and innovative ways to generate substantive conversations about God--starting with more intentional listening. Dialogical and engaging, irenic and relational, his 'inside out' approach highlights how the cross of Christ can best meet our most compelling existential needs--for meaning and morality, beauty and hope, love and worship--and satisfy our deepest human hungers and highest aspirations. The wild truth of Christianity makes it eminently worthwhile to learn how best to tear down barriers and build bridges of trust and understanding. This book will help you do just that.'

'If human beings are not simply rational animals, as Aristotle thought, but storytelling animals, what are the implications for Christian apologetics? In our post-Christian society, the Bible is no longer considered 'the greatest story ever told,' if it is told at all. Today, various stories pit one community's identity and interests against others. Accordingly, those who wish to defend gospel truth must learn how to recover the plausibility, goodness, and beauty of the Bible's account of what God is doing through Jesus Christ to make things right. Telling a Better Story proceeds with proper confidence to do just that. Josh Chatraw is faithfully attuned to the biblical text while listening with one ear cocked to the various cultural texts (including films) that compete for the attention and allegiance of our hearts and minds. The way forward, he rightly argues, is to show that the Christian story answers our burning questions and leads to flourishing communities. By telling a better story, and embodying it, we 'take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.''

'If we are to be compelling witnesses for Jesus, we can't offer answers to questions people are no longer asking. Apologetics, then, is never a static endeavor. It requires listening as well as talking--which makes Telling a Better Story an essential book for equipping the church. Using a broad array of sources, Joshua Chatraw has incisively explored the reigning cultural scripts and illuminated the beauty and coherence of the gospel by contrast. This is a book to underline, to study, and to discuss in groups. I look forward to recommending it widely.'

'Josh Chatraw points to a better way to do apologetics in our increasingly fragmented world--a way that is more sensitive to beauty, more winsome, and more comprehensively related to human experience. This book will help believers share their faith in a way that actually makes sense to secular people around them--and not only logical sense, but cultural and emotional sense too. All Christians who want to share the gospel more effectively in our current cultural setting should read this book!'

'Joshua Chatraw issues a call to maturity in this remarkable and stirring book, which tells the 'better story' of Jesus Christ. Much as many may want to ignore or dismiss Jesus, he does not give us that option, even nearly two thousand years later. I can't wait to share this book with friends and family who do not yet believe. And I will teach this book in my church too, so we never forget that the Christian story is not only true but also beautiful.'

'The gospel is, first of all, a true story, but it is a story after all. With intellectual verve and winsome charm, Telling a Better Story not only tells but shows how the gospel outnarrates all the other plots offered. Only when our apologetics reaches the imagination of our story-starved age will it be compelling. This book does just that. Definitely a must-read!'

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2020-06-30
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2020-06-30
  • Trim Size: 139.000mm x 213.000mm x 17.000mm
  • Weight: 294.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christian Theology / Apologetics
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Discipleship
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Evangelism
  • Category 5 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / General