The Story (As Told by Steven, at This Moment, in This Place)

I’ve been thinking a good bit lately about the nature of scripture, and particularly the grand narrative of the biblical text. There are a lot of synopses of the story,  but I’ve been tinkering with my own, a task that might not be a bad idea for most believers to work on every now and then. Recognizing that such a synopsis necessarily leaves things out and focuses on some elements at the expense of others, I’d love a little feedback on where I’m at with this version. I mean “Version” pretty intentionally, recognizing that it reads a little differently than it would have a year ago, or likely will a year from now. What’s here is a reflection of the story I see myself in right now. What do you see as missing or distorted here?

The world and humanity were created by God, but became estranged from God because of human sin, and thus the world became broken. As a result, God set about revealing Himself to Abraham and his descendants, forming them into a people whose destiny was the blessing of the world—God would reconcile himself to humanity through Israel, and thereby heal what was broken.

Although it appeared God’s plan would at times be thwarted by Israel’s unfaithfulness and resulting exile, God continued to pursue his plan through Israel, and eventually was victorious in creating the possibility of true reconciliation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. After his resurrection, God began using Jesus’s followers to proclaim the message of his reign, and to exemplify that reign within a new form of human community which we know as church. The church carries out that mission today, while trusting the promise that at some point God will assert his ruling authority over the whole earth, and thus bring the world back into its proper state. At that time there will be a resurrection of those faithful to Jesus, what was broken will be made right, and God’s reign will be fully realized.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this!

2 thoughts on “The Story (As Told by Steven, at This Moment, in This Place)”

  1. I think this is good. Without writing my own version right now, I’d modify this slightly by emphasizing that God is the one carrying out the mission (sometimes through the church but also through other means and hopefully the church is all about participating in God’s mission to set his creation right). Secondly, I would modify ‘back to its proper state’ with something to the effect of ‘its proper order’ or ‘its proper trajectory’ because I think what God intends for the world is not a ‘state’ (I’m reading ‘static’ into that language but that’s probably not what you intended) but something that is always dynamic.

  2. Mark, I think you’re right on both counts. Both points suggest not just language tweaks, but substantial issues that grow out of the language. I really like that suggestion of order/trajectory vs. state. Very insightful nuance.