Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Drama of Scripture

The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story” by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen is probably the best book I have read all year. In Bartholomew and Goheen’s book, it sets out to help Christians find their purpose within the larger biblical story by organizing the story into a six-act structure:

Act 1: God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation

Act 2: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall

Act 3: The King Chooses Israel: Redemption Initiated

Scene 1 A People for the King

Scene 2 A Land for His People

Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for Ending: The Intertestamental Period

Act 4: The Coming of the King: Redemption Accomplished

Act 5: Spreading the News of the King: The Mission of the Church

Scene 1 From Jerusalem to Rome

Scene 2 And into All the World

Act 6: The Return of the King: Redemption Completed [1]

Not only is this book helpful through it’s six-act structure, in my opinion, it also seems to be making the right emphasis within the larger biblical story. The authors states their 3 emphases as:

1. Comprehensive scope of God’s redemptive work in creation.

“First, we stress the comprehensive scope of God’s redemptive work in creation. The biblical story does not move toward the destruction of the world and our own “rescue” to heaven. Instead, it culminates in the restoration of the entire creation to its original goodness.” [2]

2. The believer’s own place within the biblical story.

“Second, we emphasize the believer’s own place within the biblical story. Some refer to four questions as foundational to a biblical worldview: “Who am I?” “Where am I?” “What’s wrong?” “What’s the solution?” Tom Wright adds an important fifth question: “What time is it?”…As part of our telling of the Bible’s grand story, we will explore the biblical answers to these five questions. [2]

3. Centrality of Mission

“Third, we highlight the centrality of mission within the biblical story. The Bible narrates God’s mission to restore the creation. Israel’s mission flows from this: God chose a people to again embody God’s creational purposes for humanity and so be light to the nations, and the Old Testament narrates the history of Israel’s response to their divine calling. Jesus comes on the scene and in mission takes upon himself Israel’s missionary vocation. He embodies God’s purpose for humanity and accomplishes the victory over sin, opening the way to a new world. When his earthly ministry is over, he leaves his church with the mandate to continue in that same mission. In our own time, standing as we do between Pentecost and the return of Jesus, ‘our central task as God’s people is to witness to the rule of Jesus Christ over all of life. [2]

If you want helpful resources relating to this book check out the authors' website.

[1] pg. 27

[2] pg.12-13

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