The Bible is a story.
Correction, the Bible is the grand story of the universe; it is the one story that gives all other stories their meaning and definition. I can recognize the bad guy or the hero in any story I read, hear or watch because another story, the Bible, has already defined the concepts of good and evil, hero and villain. No matter how hard the storyteller may try or no matter how dark or perverse his/her story may be, it can only be understood in light of God’s story. And this story has been given to us in four parts:
CREATION • FALL • REDEMPTION • RESTORATION
My friend Dr. Bruce Ashford has been particularly helpful informing my thoughts on the subject of the Bible as a grand narrative. He writes:
In creation [plot movement 1], we learn that this world is a created world made by the uncreated triune God, a good world that God intends to fill with people made in his image whom he will make a kingdom of priests. God’s world is a world that reflects his glory and points continually to the beauty and goodness of the Creator. in the fall [plot movement 2], however, man and woman rebelled against God and in doing so alienated themselves from him, from each other, from themselves, and from the rest of the created order. as a result, God’s good creation is marred by the ugliness of sin, and that sin has a far broader impact than we might typically imagine. in redemption [plot movement 3], we see God’s response to sin and rebellion. We learn that following man’s rebellion, God promises to send one through whom he will redeem the nations and the world. The whole of Scripture speaks of this one, the Messiah, and the salvation he accomplished. The biblical narrative concludes with the restoration [plot movement 4] of the world God made, the establishment of the new heavens and new earth, foretold in the prophets, and inhabited by the redeemed of the nations who dwell eternally with their God.
The heart of The Reimagine Initiative is to dream-cast our future with a sacred sense of intentionality allowing God’s grand narrative to serve as a template by which we consider how we can change the world for the glory of God. Therefore, next week I will demonstrate just how to use the Bible as a template for our dreams and imaginary thoughts - something I call a redemptive imagination. I hope you will consider this further at www.redemptiveimagination.com or purchase your copy of Reimagine: What the world would look like if God got His way.