Jared: Why do you use the term “story of Christ”? As Bible believing Christians we believe it is not merely a “story”. The Biblical revelation (and the central Gospel message) is absolute truth! We have an urgent and essential message to the lost. Jesus is the only way of Salvation!
I like to look at the history of humanity’s interaction with God in storyline form, because it helps me see that our perceptions of the Bible and the Gospel are not only limited by mere volume, but subjected to our imperfect interpretations. To me, story is freeing, empowering, and unifying. It helps us dive into context with our imaginations, submitting to where the living Truth will take us, rather than taking from the absolute with our relative perspectives, extrapolating what we believe to be the intentions of the absolute. I know it may seem wordy, and you may rather label that kind of perspective, but consider it for a moment(or a lifetime). Embracing the whole story as such–a divinely inspired tribute to various points and figures of history, compiled for our mourning, celebration, and invitation; compelling us to become the reflections of the catalyst of that story–its essence–as it continues to be written by God through us in the futures he leads us to.
I wanted to pick up on this, because it’s a pretty significant issue. For years, I saw the Bible almost as a source of pre-extracted truth. I tried to open it and translate it from its raw form into abstractions. I didn’t invent that way of reading the Bible. I caught it. I guess it was modelled for me in the way I was taught. Sometimes I even wondered why God couldn’t have skipped some of the stories and just given us the straight goods. Less Acts, more Romans. What a way of thinking. I love Jared’s term “the story of Christ.” It in no way minimizes the truth of the story. Instead, it shows us that all of the Bible, from start to finish (including Romans), is part of a narrative of what God is doing – a story that’s continuing today. (Somebody’s about to jump on me that the Bible is the final, authoritative revelation of God, and if that’s you, then stop. You’re missing the point.) I see myself more and more as a story-teller, telling the story, than a teacher of abstract truths. Stories don’t diminish truth. Quite the opposite. And it makes all the difference in the world.