Author Tuesday: it’s here again! I am delighted for you to meet Melvin Bray, a wise and winsome soul whose thoughts are changing the world. I can’t wait for you to hear the story behind his new book, BETTER: Waking Up to Who We Could Be, because it really IS possible for all of us to wake up to a better story.
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? i’m a devoted husband, committed father, learner, teacher, writer, storyteller, lover of people, purveyor of collaboration and believer in possibilities.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? with BETTER: Waking Up to Who We Could Be i am asking, “what if the world we have—with its racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, religious hatred, ecological disregard—is exactly the world we storied into existence through hostile faith stories we tell?” based on that notion, if we did story ourselves into this moment, then perhaps we can story ourselves out. in chapter one, i propose a method for telling more beautiful, more just, more virtue-filled stories. i spend the rest of the book offering up eight examples of what i hope readers experience as better tellings of classic faith stories and highlight eight specific intuitions of beloved community that arise out of them that i believe would make the world a decidedly better place.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? have you looked at the world lately?… 😀
my real inspiration is my children. i’m deeply committed to handing them a better world than what was given to me. faith is a huge part of my sense of the good that is possible, but i recognize my children may not hold faith on the same terms i do. i also wanted a way to pass on to them the stories of faith that have meant so much to me in a way that might allow the stories to remain meaningful for my children even as their understandings of faith evolves.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? people of goodwill often act as if the arc of the moral universe that martin luther king, jr, referenced bends toward justice on its own. It does not. unless people of goodwill act in good faith toward a just end, justice will not be found. however, the sooner we get about the business of relating more justly, the sooner justice can be found. i want to inspire people to make that story of justice, beauty, and all the other virtues so irresistible that people can’t help but want to be a part of it.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? well, that’s two years of my life (spread across five) i’ll never get back! 😀
actually, the book has served as a kind of unifying theory for my life. writing it helped me to unite what before felt like disparate strands of interest—my love of faith and history and literature and politics and sustainability and people and conversation and creativity and learning and teaching and collaboration. through the process, with the help of friends, i began to see that these varied interests all coalesced into a desire for better.
thank you, cara, for the opportunity to share with your audience! i am so grateful.
It’s true: Melvin’s book is powerful. (Full disclosure: I reviewed BETTER for Red Letter Christians, which you can read here). I can’t tell you how many times I sat there going, wow – I’ve never thought about scripture/life/social and racial justice/the WORLD that way ever before. So, I don’t doubt it’ll do the same for you. Otherwise, see something you liked in this post? Leave a comment for Melvin, and if you’d like to win a copy of his book, be sure to include, “Pick me!” somewhere in there. Giveaway ends Sunday, June 18th.
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