Hi Fun Seekers. I suspect you’re surprised to hear from me because I’m on a blog break for this December. But consider this a reverse intermission. About a week ago, Leonard Sweet (my esteemed co-author of Jesus Manifesto and Jesus: A Theography) and I had a phone conversation. During the call, Len told me that he saw the new movie, Lincoln. He then shared some of his reactions and impressions of it. I was impressed. So much so that I encouraged him to write a review of the film and promised that I would publish it on my blog. So here it is . . . enjoy and share it with your friends using the share buttons below.
How do you measure a life? The same way you measure a nation. By the power of its story.
Some of the most beloved stories of our nation mythologize one of the nation’s greatest storytellers himself: Abraham Lincoln.
The Great American Story is the Story of the American Dream. But the most difficult chapter in that storybook is the one that united a divided country. Lincoln knew the power that story could wield, and he used his own stories to heal and guide a nation, long after his own death. With narrative wit, and cunning wisdom, Lincoln wove the metaphorical flag that would represent the new United States of America.
Lincoln’s stories were not stock aphorisms or standard tales; they were organically grown from grass roots and apple seeds found on the land of common people who toughed it out with sweat and blood just as Lincoln himself did on the midwestern frontier.
Lincoln’s story begins in Kentucky on 12 February 1809. Two women gave birth to sons on that same day: one in a one-room, 16′ by 18′ cabin in Kentucky, the other in a finely furnished house called “The Mount” on the edge of Shrewsbury in Shropshire, England. The latter became the greatest scientist of the 19th century, who wrote more than 6 million words in his lifetime and is often cited as “the greatest Englishman of the 19th century.” The first, born from the most common beginnings, became the greatest president in US history, whose short speeches steered the country through the “Second American Revolution” (James McPherson) and is often cited as “the greatest American of the 19th century.”