Review

The Spy, the Rat and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith by Mark Roques

People are storytellers. As humans, we spend much of our lives either telling stories, dramatizing storytelling, or writing our thoughts. Author Mark Roques has made a life quest of it in his work with youth. He received his PhD in studying the films of James Bond as a worldview analysis. Although this book was written for audiences in the UK, it is an interesting view of how teachers, students, and the general public may be involved in conversations about religious belief.

In this book, The Spy, the Rat, and the Bed of Nails, Roques engages the tools of media, parable, parody, irony, and wit to draw attention to the fact that few of our conversations are about spiel: “persuasive speech that is designed to communicate an important message” (4). This is especially so in discussing matters of faith or conversing about the person of Jesus to and with youth. Using parable and movie critique, Roques engages three socially recognizable themes: James Bond 007 as hero, the symbolism of the rat as an idol of worship, and worldviews, which engage the trials, spirituality, and myths that occur across cultures. [This is only part of the article. Want to read more? Subscribe to the website by choosing "Register" from the menu above. It's free!]

Works Cited

Roques, Mark. The Spy, the Rat, and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith. Leeds, UK: Thinking Faith Network, 2017.

Watch Roques teach here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3VNiqJCh94.

Watch Roques on Bond and Rats here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjmxBp-RxHg

Books that influenced Roques:

Clouser, Roy. The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories. University of Notre Dame Press, 2005.

Dooyeweerd, Herman. Roots of Western Culture: Pagan, Secular and Christian Options. Wedge Publishing, 1979.

Goudzwaard, Bob, and Josina Van Nuis Zylstra. Capitalism and Progress: A Diagnosis of Western Society. Wedge Publishing, 1979.

Seerveld, Calvin. Rainbows for the Fallen World: Aesthetic Life and Artistic Task. 2nd ed. Tuppence Press, 2005.

Walsh, Brian, and Sylvia Keesmaat. Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire. IVP Academic, 2004.

Christina Belcher is chair and professor of the department of education at Redeemer University College. She is a bibliophile and has taught elementary school, tertiary and higher education in British Columbia, Ontario, New Zealand, and Australia. Her interests are in writing, worldview, higher education, cultural change, technology and special education—recently in the realm of perceptions and presentations of autism.