We’re using an booklet “STORY” (click here to download)by Winn Griffin for our LiFE Groups discussions these few weeks. I thought it might be good to change the style a bit, hopefully to bring freshness to the group and get us back afresh to God’s STORY in the Scriptures. Its been helpful in my own understanding of the content of Scripture and also in BLC especially when people start conversing about some of the ideas he surfaced. Here’s somestuff I highlighted.
“Millions own a Bible. But owning a Bible and knowing the contents of the Bible are two separate issues.”
And I think this goes further than being able to quote some verses here and there. I agree with Griffin that versitis (fragmented quotation of verses torn from God-given context) & topicalitis (fragmented teaching and preaching often more like prooftexting) can cause us to treat the Bible just like another “chicken soup” book. We miss out on the main course of God’s purposes for us. Sticking with the lectionary and working through passages every Sunday has been a life-transforming & life-shaping discipline. First, I’ve discovered how God is always RELEVANT. Second, I’ve found that my understanding of his REVELATION deepens even in stuff I thought I always knew. Humbling …
“We need to know the whole story as presented in Scripture to make sense of our present story that we live in as believers.”
He quotes Anglican Theologian/Author Alister McGrath, “Stories are about finding one’s identity, and learning the Story of one’s own people.”
I think it was Bonhoeffer’s statement that Christ’s death is more important than my death, His life is more important than my life (and so on) shook me up. Sometimes you think you know who you are, I’ve read self-help books, simple psychology stuff and loads of leadership books. I’ve been to I can’t even remember how many seminars but nothing beats how the Scriptures allows me to make sense of my own life. All those non-Scripture based stuff and be helpful (other times harmful). But, the Scripture nourishes and guides me with a perspective that’s often not “trapped” with modern days trends and fancy!
I can genuinely say that the Scriptures really have brought me to a greater self awareness of who I am, what I’m called to to, and how to go about it. Strange … when the focus is off preoccupying our self and let the Scriptures speak … wonders happen.
“It is our belief that when you finish reading-hearing-telling this story, you will no longer be a Christian in name only, but you will be a Christian in reality, one who lives his or her life in community for the sake of the world.”
A Christian in name only … a Christian in reality. so true, so true … I told May Chin in the car, nowadays we have so many adjectives or qualifiers for Christians .. words we put before the word “Christian” – e.g. active, backsliden, faithful, serving, non-church going, mature, etc. I’m just saddened again and again when the word “Christian” has been reduced to merely so called “religious affiliation” like how some Chinese use the word “Buddhist”. REALITY .. our center, our life-giving-life-shaping-life guiding force. That which determines the way we see the world, what we value, what we’re gonna do in life, what do we want to see happen … Being a Christian in REALITY for me is not a pressure (tho I admit a pressure-free life in KL and developing Malaysia is impossible even as a Christian – and many of us live under tremendous strain)
Phew! Just that when it comes to being part of GOD’s STORY … What a privilege … yes PRIVILEGE … that’s what “getting” the STORY does to me!
Close with a last paragraph from Griffin,
“Knowing the story is not an end in itself. The story is there so that the Creator God may be glorified and that his creation may be redeemed. It is our task to be the vehicles through whom this magnificent story is told and retold, not just in words but also with drama, art, any form of creative expression. We have been entrusted with a great and wonderful privilege.” (emphasis mine)