Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MONDAY MUSINGS: Blue Parakeet, part three

The Bible is not so much a book we read as it is a world into which we enter.

This is how I would summarize Scot McKnight's big point as he encourages us to read the Bible as story. Instead, we are trained to read it in other ways...
  • As a collection of laws
  • As a collection of blessings and promises
  • As an inkblot, projecting onto the Bible what the reader wants to see
  • As a puzzle that, once put together, reveals a system mapping God's mind
  • As accepting one part of Scripture like a maestro, one teaching voice that explains all the rest of the Bible
All of these approaches are "shortcuts" that keep us from entering the world of the Bible fully so that it can do its work in our lives.

Instead, we first need to grasp the big picture or the "Big Story" of the Bible. Then, we need to recognize that all the various "stories" in the Bible contribute to its Big Story. Scot McKnight calls these "wiki-stories," a reference to Wikipedia, the ever-evolving open source web encyclopedia. The Bible tells the Big Story, and to do so it is made up of many wiki-stories. God spoke to Moses in Moses' day in Moses' way, to Paul in Paul's day in Paul's way, and so on throughout the historical time-frame in which Scripture was written, and yet these individual parts, diverse as they may be, are each a true reflection of the Big Story, and all are held together by the Big Story.

To show us how the Bible works, McKnight outlines the plot of The Big Story. It is about:
  • God creating Eikons to live in oneness
  • The Eikons becoming cracked
  • God forming a covenant community to restore cracked Eikons (which fails)
  • God sending Jesus as the Perfect Eikon, who redeems cracked Eikons
  • God consummating redemption and restoring perfect oneness
This is the plot of the Big Story, and we read every wiki-story in its light. In subsequent chapters, McKnight will take one issue—the ministry of women in the church—and show how reading the Bible in the light of its Big Story can help us apply its teachings in our lives today.

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