Stories that feed your soul

I was sent a copy of Tony Campolo’s book “Stories that feed your soul” by the good people at The Ooze through as one of  their “Viral Bloggers”.

Campolo is one of my favourite Christian speakers. No, I’ll correct that, he is my number one favourite Christian speaker: radical and challenging and engaging, magnetic and hilariously funny. With Campolo humour is the way to soften up the listeners, to relax them, so that the point is driven home so much harder and more memorably.

“Stories that feed your soul” is the second collection of Campolo’s stories, drawn from his storehouse of illustrations. Some are interesting, some are engaging, some are delightful and some are just good jokes. I don’t know why, but when I read them sometimes the voice I’m hearing in my head is Tony Campolo and sometimes its Woody Allen. Either way the story is well told and always has a point to drive home. The stories are not new – one of the stories here (“A Father’s Blind Love” on page 30 if you’re interested) I first heard Campolo tell in a sermon at the Spring Harvest conference in 1989. But that same story is one that stayed with me then and I have re-told it myself in churches and schools ever since.

The book is helpfully divided into sections based around Romans chapter 8. Each section starts with a  few verses from the chapter and a short reflection. This is a clever device, sending the reader back to God’s Word and reminding us that these are stories to illustrate scripture, not just entertaining anecdotes.

“Stories that feed your soul” is worth getting hold of, reading, and then reading again with a highlighter pen and creating your own index. Many of these stories will find their way into my preaching and burrow their way into my soul. This is soul food, and worth a place on anyone’s menu.

“Stories that feed your soul” by Tony Campolo is published by Regal in hardback and retails at £12.99 in the UK.

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