Every Good Book Has This


By Daniel James Martinusen

Every good book has a good plot. Every good plot has one significant thing that makes it interesting. Because most books have a �good versus evil� theme, let�s take a look at what makes them so interesting.

The good-guy bad-guy story is as old as Adam. I�ve seen this theme repeated thousands of times in stories, movies and plays. But most of them receive low ratings. Only a few stand out above the rest. What is it in these few that the others are lacking? Drive.

Drive is a compelling force, push or motivation behind one�s actions, which usually pushes a person onward toward a particular goal or achievement. Basically, drive should have a purpose. How boring it would be if a person had no drive, no purpose, and no motivation behind his or her actions. So in every �good versus evil� theme, the drive behind the good and evil must be revealed and exploited in order to keep the story from becoming another mundane copycat waste of time, ink, paper & film.

Let�s take, for example, the number one best-selling book of all time-the Bible. There is most definitely a �good versus evil� theme in this book; but what makes it so interesting is the drive behind the �good� and the drive behind the �evil.�

Let�s start with a look at the drive behind the evil. The origin of evil has its roots in none other than Satan himself.

The Bible explains Satan�s drive in many places, but let�s take a look at the earliest time period mentioned--when Satan was cast out of Heaven by God.

Isaiah 14:13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.�

Clearly Satan�s purpose behind his evil actions was self-glory. He wanted to rule Heaven and earth. That sounds quite reminiscent of many Hollywood themes we see today. How many thousands of books & movies have their �bad guys� driven by lust for power and fame? Many of their villains can be heard saying something like ��.and I�ll rule the world, ah-ha-ha-ha!� Isn�t that what drives most evil in the real world? Lust for power & position? And to go a step further, it is evident throughout the Bible that Satan is driven by �hate.� He hates both God and man.

1st Peter 5:8 says �Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.�

And back to Isaiah 14:12 �How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star (Satan), son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!�

Satan tries to make himself higher by making others lower. He believes if he blows out your candle, it will make his brighter. How often do we see this in the real world, with jealousy & envy in politics, marriages, sibling rivalry and even cutting remarks from peers in school, all of whom are putting others down to try and lift themselves up--all of them driven by hate just like Satan.

Now let�s take a look at the other half of the Bible�s theme--good.

Genesis 1:31 says �God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.�

Good is defined as being desirable in nature, of high quality, being kind, being loyal, being moral and being positive.

Good stands alone and shines without any help; yet what makes it so interesting in the Bible is how it contrasts with evil. It appears even brighter when compared to evil. What is even more interesting is the manner in which good conquers evil in the Bible. This is also reminiscent of many other successful book and movie themes throughout the world today.

From cover to cover in the Bible we see examples of good versus evil, but its entire theme can be summed up in one simple verse--Jonn 3:16

�For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.�

This verse shows that the drive behind the good act that Jesus did to save the world is love. When Jesus died upon a cross, He did it because He loves us and He did not want us to perish, as was our prior fate, due to the fact that sin had entered the world through Adam�s disobedience. The next verse goes on to say in John 3:17

�For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.�

Jesus became the new �Adam� to represent all mankind and He paid for our sins by being obedient to God the Father and laying down his life upon a cross in order to save us from death.

So there you have it--both drive and purpose. Jesus was driven by love with a purpose to save us and share His glory with us. This is opposite of Satan�s drive and purpose�Satan is driven by hate with a purpose to destroy us and glorify only himself.

Now finally the climax of this story-- 1st Corinthians 15:54

�When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:

�Where O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?� The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!�

According to the Bible, good has conquered evil with a good act driven by love with a purpose to save the world.

It�s no wonder this all-time best seller has the key ingredients for a story�s success. Drive and purpose. Evil driven by hate with a purpose to destroy the world and glorify self-- and good driven by love with a purpose to save the world and share the glory.

Leave either drive or purpose out of a story and you join the ranks of the could-have-beens.