Category Archives: The Bible

God Gives with Interest

“Viewed as a whole, . . . the Christian account of history is eschatological not only in the sense that it comes to a definitive and everlasting end, but in the sense that the end is a glorified beginning, not merely a return to origins. The Christian Bible moves not from garden lost to garden restored, but from garden to garden-city. God gives with interest.

~ Peter J. Leithart, Deep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, and Hope in Western Literature (Moscow, Id.; Canon Press, 2006), xi.

The Point of The Story Has Been Disclosed

“All telling of history is, of course, selective. No history is written except on the basis of judgments about what is significant. No ‘facts of history’ exist, except in so far as what happened was judged significant. The recorded facts will vary according to the judgement of what is significant, and that in turn depends upon what the ‘point’ of the story is. Normally we do not see the point of a story until the end. But we are not in a position to see the end of the cosmic story. The Christian faith is the faith that the point of the story has been disclosed: the ‘end’ has been revealed in the middle. The point of the story is not the triumph of human technology over nature, nor the cyclical rise and fall of civilizations. There is one human family and it has one centre, Jesus Christ, one history, the history of the making of faithful relationships with its maker. To accept that means to live as part of a potentially universal community, looking towards a consummation whose character has been revealed in Jesus Christ, and of which we have already a foretaste in his risen Body.”

~ Lesslie Newbigin, “Our Missionary Responsibility In The Crisis Of Western Culture”

The Cosmic Story

“The Bible is an interpretation of universal history as the history of the divine enterprise of creating faithful relationships, covenant relationships between God and his creatures, God and the human family, faithful relationships between persons and peoples founded on the covenant faithfulness of God. It has the whole cosmos as its theme. It sets the human story within the context of the cosmic story. It has its centre and turning point in the death and resurrection of Him who is the word of God, through whom all things came to be and are. It looks towards a consummation, which is beyond history and which yet gathers up all that has been wrought through history.”

~ Lesslie Newbigin, “Our Missionary Responsibility In The Crisis Of Western Culture”

Story-shaped Faith

“Human beings are story-shaped creatures. We are born into stories, raised in stories, and live and die in stories. Whenever we have to answer a big question — who am I, why am I here, what should I do, what happens to me when I die? — we tell a story. The Ur-story, the foundational story, is the story of God’s love for creation, and all other stories are to be measured against it. The single best way of conceiving of faith, and of a faithful life, is as a story in which you are a character. Your life task is to be a character in the greatest story every told. It is what you were created for.

If faith were primarily an idea, the intellect alone might be adequate for dealing with it. Since it is instead a life to be lived, we need story. Story, as does life, engages all of what we are — mind, emotions, spirit, body. Faith calls us to live a certain way, not just to think in a certain way. It is no surprise, then, that the central record of faith in human history opens with an unmistakable story signature: ‘In the beginning . . . ”

~ Daniel Taylor, “Story-shaped Faith” from The Power of Words and the Wonder of God eds. John Piper and Justin Taylor (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2009), 105-106.

Satan’s Determination to Undermine Revelation

“There is nothing truer to the portrayal of Satan than a determination to undermine the word of God, to get people to live on any other basis than revelation.”

– J. A. Motyer Look to the Rock

A Brief Overview of Redemptive History

“The idea of a holy, spiritual, self-revealing God, the free Creator of the world, and its continual Preserver. As correlative to this, and springing out of it, is the idea of man being made in God’s image, and capable of moral relations and spiritual fellowship with his Maker; but who, through sin, has turned aside from the end of his creation, and stands in need of Redemption. In the heart of the history, we have the idea of a Divine purpose, working itself out through the calling of a special nation, for the ultimate benefit and blessing of mankind. God’s providential rule extends over all creatures and events, and embraces all peoples of the earth, near and remote. In view of the sin and corruption that have overspread the world, His government is one of combined mercy and judgment; and His dealings with Israel in particular are preparative to the introduction of a better economy, in which the grace already partially exhibited will be fully revealed. The end is the establishment of a kingdom of God under the rue of the Messiah, in which all national limitations will be removed, the Spirit be poured forth, and Jehovah will become the God of the whole earth. God will make a new covenant with His people, and will write His laws by His Spirit in their hearts. Under this happy reign the final triumph of righteousness over sin will be accomplished, and death and all other evils will be abolished.”

~ James Orr, The Christian View of God and the World (Vancouver, Regent College Publishing, 2002, reprint of the 1893 edition), 14

Story-Shaped Lives

“The same impulse that makes us want our books to have a plot makes us want our lives to have a plot. We need to feel that we are getting somewhere, making progress. There is something in us that is not satisfied with a merely psychological explanation of our lives. It doesn’t do justice to our conviction that we are on some kind of journey or quest, that there must be some deeper meaning to our lives than whether we feel good about ourselves. Only people who have lost the sense of adventure, mystery, and romance worry about their self-esteem. And at that point what they need is not a good therapist but a good story. Or more precisely, the central question for us should be, ‘What personality dynamics explain my behavior?’ but rather, ‘What sort of story am I in?'”

~ William Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong (New York, NY; Simon & Schuster, 1992), 192.