Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Overarching Story of the Bible, according to N. T. Wright

When N. T. Wright was asked to summarise his understanding of the overarching story of the Bible, he answered something like this:

"If I can try and summarise the whole Bible in a couple of sentences, which is always a ridiculous thing to do, but it is remarkable how in a book composed of many books written over the space of more than a thousand years, there is a sustained narrative which is about a good creation in which humans play a central role under the Creator; then about the dramatic 'fall' so-called, in which humans rebel and refuse this purpose;

then about the call of Israel to be the people through whom God puts both the human race and the whole world right, and how they get it wrong as well, so we have a double-bind now;

then of course about the coming of Jesus Himself as God in person, who is both Israel in person and human-kind in person, to sort out the double-problem; and then about the way in which, through the coming of Jesus and then through the work of Jesus' Spirit in and through His followers, um the plan gets back on track, leading to an eventual future in which Jesus Himself will be the One uh who has flooded God's whole creation with the justice and peace and joy and purpose and fruitfulness which was always the Creator's purpose.

So that's the big story. And once we see that big story, it's hugely exciting to see how all the different bits of it as it were come up in three dimensions within it."