Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What are you reading, Lindsey Sinnott?

When I was asked to submit something for this week’s “What are you reading?” post, I wasn’t sure what book to pick. I suppose I fit a more stereotypical librarian image, because I love to read and almost always have multiple books going at one time! My interests tend to be somewhat eclectic, ranging anywhere from books on theology and philosophy to children’s literature and science fiction (and pretty much anywhere in between).

But right now I’m currently re-reading two books:

I’m teaching an Adult Ed. (Sunday school) class at my church in December on the topic of viewing scripture as narrative, and while there are certainly more academically inclined books on the topic, I think these two are helpful for “easing” into the topic and do not come across as overwhelming for those new to the idea.

In The Drama of Scripture, the authors lay out a narrative overview of scripture and describe it as though scripture was comprised of acts in a play:

  • Act 1: God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation 
  • Act 2: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall 
  • Act 3: The King Choose Israel: Redemption Initiated 
  • Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for an 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 
  • Act 6: The Return of the King: Redemption Completed 
According to Goheen and Bartholomew’s analogy, Act 5 isn’t complete. We are living out the rest of Act 5 now, and our “role” is to get in on this story; to act out the rest of it. This is accomplished by being so familiar with the story, as a whole, and the purpose of the “author” (God) that we are able to join in on God’s work of redemption in the world around us.

L’Engle provides a more personal look at the idea of stories as “shaping” things that point us toward our purpose. She emphasizes the unique ability of stories to resonate with us, spur us onward, and even change the way we view the world…

I’d definitely recommend these two books to anyone interested in the topic. For more robust readings on narrative theology, I’d recommend the following: The Nature of Doctrine by Lindbeck (definitely not light reading!) and much of Hauerwas’ work.

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