In his excellent and thought-provoking book Static, Ron Martoia says,"You can't hear when you think you have already heard". This statement exemplifies well an important struggle within the church in today's evolving and yet to be clarified post-modern world. That is, how do you make the message of Jesus, this "news flash" as Ron describes it, understandable, relevant and compelling in today's culture; a culture that is partly a product of a religious mindset that thinks it has already heard what needs to be heard?
In Static, Ron does an amazing job of telling the Biblical stories of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration in a language that is both understandable and relevant. Yet, he does it without compromising the truth of God's Word. Displaying his giftedness as a writer, he reaches out to people in a way that makes the message of Christ real and alive. However, he also challenges many time-honored "assumptions" man has made about the Bible in general and Jesus' message in particular. Ron remarks,"We have to be willing to dump our assumptions if we are going to learn anything new and this is true of the Bible. We need to remain open to even hear the Bible instead of believing we have already heard the Bible!".
Ron does not discount the importance of the biblical language so familiar to us such as gospel, sin, repentance and kingdom, a language that today too often inhibits spiritual conversation. Instead, he "probes past the common definitions of the words to discuss the more nuanced backstory of the Old Testament, Jewish, and first-century contexts from which they emerge...." Only then can the hard work of translating these stories and concepts into words that will be understood by today's contemporary listeners begin.
There will be those who take exception to such "freedom" with God's Word.I, however, applaud Ron's courage. He has given us a book that is exceptionally readable, compelling and guaranteed to make you rethink many of your own "assumptions". Ron quotes Sallie McFague from her book "Speaking in Parables", "The purpose of theology is to make it possible for the gospel to be heard in our own time". Static is just the book for our time.