Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

"Stranger Than Fiction": The Type of Man You Want to Keep Alive

In the movie Stranger Than Fiction, Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, an IRS auditor who suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear. Crick discovers that he is the main character in Karen Eiffel's (played by Emma Thompson) latest novel. Crick's dull existence is affected when he realizes the narrator is planning his death. Enlisting the help of a literature professor (played by Dustin Hoffman), Harold meets the novelist. Eiffel changes the ending of her great novel to save his life.

In this scene, Professor Hilbert reads the amended novel and hears Eiffel's reason for changing the ending.

Hilbert puts down the manuscript, takes off his glasses, and says, "It's okay."

"It's not great?" Eiffel asks.

"It's okay. It's not bad. It's not the most amazing piece of English literature in several years, but it's okay."

"You know…" Eiffel responds softly. "I think I'm fine with 'okay.'''

"It doesn't make any sense with the rest of the book, though," Hilbert warns.

"No, not yet," Eiffel says quickly. "I'll rewrite the rest. My assistant said she'd go back to the publisher and request more time."


"Don't know," replies Eiffel. "It's awfully sweet, though."

"No. Why did you change the book?"

"Lots of reasons. I realized I just couldn't do it."

"Because he's real?" Hilbert asks.

"Because it's a book about a man who doesn't know he's about to die and then dies," Eiffel explains. "But if the man does know he's going to die and dies anyway, dies willingly, knowing he could stop it, then…I mean…isn't that the type of man you want to keep alive?"

Elapsed Time: DVD scene 26; 01:42:00–01:43:14

Content: PG–13 for language and sexuality.

Related Sermon Illustrations

The Courageous Sacrifice of King Jesus

Most kingdoms do anything they can to protect their king. This is the unspoken premise of the game of chess, for example. When the king falls, the kingdom is lost. Therefore, the king ...

[Read More]

Cross Reveals the World We Have and the God We Have

Author Henri Nouwen tells the story of a family he knew in Paraguay. The father, a doctor, spoke out against the military regime there and its human rights abuses. Local police took ...

[Read More]