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The Foundational Narrative

By Les Henson

Photo by Reuben Juarez on Unsplash

There is a whole generation of Christian people in the church and on its fringe, who don't have a basic understanding of the biblical story. They know little of what Christians have believed over the centuries or of the history of the Christian faith. They have a piecemeal knowledge of the Bible, and they have bits of the biblical story, but they have little or no idea how the whole thing fits together.

Although I didn't grow up in the church, I am forever thankful to Miss Hooper, my primary school teacher who taught me in grade 5 (age 9-10). She read to us all the narrative stories of the Bible from Genesis 1 the story of creation through to Acts 28 Paul's imprisonment in Rome and everything in between. I can still picture those stories in my mind, and the classroom in which she taught, along with Miss Hooper's fluffy pastel-shaded sweaters. When I became a Christian, a few weeks before my seventeenth birthday in May 1966, I already had the narrative story of the Scriptures firmly fixed in my mind. It formed the basis on which to build and add newly discovered knowledge and understanding. It was just an invaluable foundation for my recently acquired faith. I feel saddened when I think of many Christian people who even after decades of teaching, have still not grasped the foundational narrative of the biblical faith.

An excellent place to start as a Christian or as a congregation in getting to grips with the biblical story is with a book that I have found very helpful namely, Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen's, The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story. It presents the biblical story in six acts and one interlude, each of which is divided into smaller sections. The six acts and the interlude are as follows:

• Act 1 -- God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation

• Act 2 -- Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall

• Act 3 -- The King Chooses 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

This book will help you to understand the true nature of scripture as God's story and his relationship to the world. It will present you with the foundations needed for developing a biblical worldview and a faith that makes sense in the confused world in which we live. I commend this book to you for your perusal. I am sure that those who read this book will become more adequately equipped to engage and serve the people God has called us to at the beginning of the third decade of the twenty-first century.


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