"For the whole creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed." Rom 8:19
Do not conform to the patterns [the stories] of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom 12:2) It is precisely here that moral conviction of the truth of this story, and hence its authority, is rooted. God speaks. He convinces us that things between himself and the human race are in reality much as they are in the [biblical] story. We are drawn into the world of the text precisely as we are drawn into a relationship with its central character. As this happens, we find ourselves confronted by many of the same realities and experiences as are narrated in the text. Suddenly sin, grace, reconciliation, the power of God’s Spirit, the risen Christ and so on are not mere elements in a narrative world, but constituent parts of our own world, players and factors to be taken into consideration in our daily living and in our attempts to make sense of our own situation. —Trevor Hart
This is a bird's-eye view of my reflections on this important theme. Click on the titles of the sub-themes you want to explore.
The Nature of Scripture Discussion forthcoming. Here I'm sharing some discussions that are relevant to the nature of Scripture in some way. I'm also recommending a few sources on this subject. On Epic: Just Imagine I begin with my assessment of Epic, the little book by John Eldredge, because that's where I myself began, back when I first read it in early discipleship.
I’m with Eldredge that to walk with God we need to find ourselves in the biblical Story. It makes no sense to confess allegiance and trust in God when in practice we inhabit competing narratives from our surrounding culture. I also agree that stories (in general) can foster the conversion of our imagination and can nurture us in our walk with God, just as they nurture our imaginations more generally. But I'm not onboard with how far Eldredge goes with stories and fairytales: how far he takes the analogy between reality (the narrative-world of the Bible) and stories in general.
The Epic on the Ground: Reinhabiting Life I'm finding it helpful to realize that our aim is not to inhabit the biblical epic per se. We can't really stay at the level of the big picture. The big picture itself sends us down to the interpersonal level, because that's where life happens.
Faithful Allegiance This is where this conversation rightly begins, with God himself and where we stand before him.
However, there's a related theme I haven't engaged explicitly here but which I assume both here and in all that follows, and that is the theme of prayer. There's no faithful allegiance without prayer. No inhabiting God's Story without prayer.
For one thing, prayer sets us up in the right frame of reference. It grounds us. It locates us. It puts everything else in perspective and sets the stage for what we do next. It sets the stage for the rest of our processing and thinking, and for the rest of our acting and relating from then on. So prayer should take precedence in all of our acting and being. It's always the first thing we want to do.
Transformed by God’s Story Learning to inhabiting God's Story is a transformative process. It must be an important aspect of what conversion is all about. To find oneself in another story seems to me nothing less than a new birth.
God's Story in Community We inhabit God's Story in community, like everybody else, because being human is being in relationship.
Celebrating God's Story I barely began writing this section, and I started small. But I'm thinking celebration in broadest terms now, in line with James K. A. Smith in his Cultural Liturgies: seeing and living our whole lives as a celebration of God's Story.
Co-Writing God’s Story Humans are culture makers, co-workers with God in the making of this world. God made the world; we make something of the world. That's his design. This means that we are co-authors with God in his Story. We're co-writing the story as we live it.