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Understanding Biblical Storytelling

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Man is the image of God. He necessarily creates stories and enjoys them.

—Greg Uttinger, “The Lord of the Rings: A Good Story” (2012)

Deep comedy is a product of Christianity, a mark of resurrection life on the pages of Western literature.

—Peter Leithart, “Deep Comedy” (2006)

Introduction

I’ve discussed in broad terms the biblical foundations for many areas of life and thought, including the arts in general. Now let’s look at the narrower “art” of storytelling. As with all things we start with God … not just God as Creator, but in God as a personality and who He truly is. So we begin with the ontological and then the economic Trinity.

Sounds complicated, but all I’m saying is that from eternity God is a self-communicating God. The Father begets the Son. The Father and Son breathe forth the Holy Spirit to one another. You see this over and over in the Bible. That said, let’s look at the doctrine of the Son’s “eternal generation” a bit more closely.

Great Stories and The Ontological Trinity

The Son is the glow of the Father’s glory and the express image of His Person (Heb. 1:3). The Father looks upon His Son, and He is well pleased (Matt. 3:17; 12:18; Prov. 8:30). In other words, the Father communicates to the Son and Spirit without any loss in the communication itself. And … the Son doesn’t compromise the Father’s image or muddy up His glory in any way.

To understand the literary significance of this doctrine, we can contrast Christ the Son with the pagan deities … with Cronos who castrates his father or Zeus who does the same. With Isis who poisons her ancestor Ra and grabs his power. Or with Loki who raises the forces of chaos and death against Odin and his allies at Ragnarok. The pagan myths show us that the gods beget troubled children much to their sorrow. More broadly, these myths regard any move beyond the beginning as a misstep, a corruption of the ideal, a fall of sorts.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

Mysticism in general echoes this thought stream. That’s why any frameworks that move away from original divinity always lead to distortion and loss. Only true, Trinitarian balance and harmony provide conceptualization for story. This understanding of deity creates a backdrop for “the happy ending” so crucial to traditional storytelling. Meaning … any move from the origin results in catastrophe and tragedy.

The biblical doctrine of the Trinity rejects the tragic endings implicit in pagan ontology. God’s self-communication does not end in failure but in glory. The Origin finds full and glorious expression in His complete Revelation. The Father is glorified in His well-beloved Son, and the Son rejoices in His Father (John 17).

The Covenant of Redemption: God as Storyteller

Understanding Biblical Storytelling

Image source: Pixabay.com

Just how the Son glorifies the Father, and the Father the Son, is the story of the Gospel. But that Gospel story has its origin in the eternal counsels of the Godhead.

Here’s what I mean by that: Scripture tells us of God’s eternal decrees. It places these decrees in the context of the eternal fellowship that is the Trinity. Before the world began, the Persons of the Godhead made promises to one another (Titus 1:2). They assumed obligations (John 14:31; 17:2). They took on roles. The Father gave the Son a people and instructions concerning them (John 17). The Son became the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8; cf. 1 Pet. 1:19-20). The Holy Spirit agreed to wait on the earthly work of the Son and to come in His name (John 16:7-15; cf. 7:39). In eternity they agreed upon all this and much more.

In other words, before the world began, the Persons of the Trinity communicated to one another the nature of the history they would create. They communicated all that they would do, all that would happen, down to the smallest detail (Isa. 46:10; Acts 15:18). Not just that … they rejoiced in their plan. This is where Storytelling begins, but it isn’t where it ends. God made His story real: He created heaven and earth.

God’s Story: Setting, Conflict and Characters

Every story needs a setting. God set His story (primarily) on Earth. The story starts “in the beginning” and carries on to the Last Day, to the Resurrection and Final Judgment.

Now, stories as we understand them on this side of the Fall arise out of conflict. Guides to good reading usually list the more common conflicts: man v. man, man v. woman, man v. nature, man v. God or the gods, man v. himself, and so on. But all of these conflicts are the result of the Fall. In any given story, the specific conflicts either arise out of the sins of the characters or out of the common curse that afflicts men because of sin. Examples are legion but include battles with disease, wild beasts or natural disasters.

Conflict, of course, presupposes actors … heroes, villains, and victims (protagonists and antagonists). In God’s story, God Himself is the Hero. The apparent conflict He must resolve for us rises out of God’s justice and our sin. It is simply this: How can God be just and yet forgive rebellious sinners? God answers this question through the Gospel story as Christ battles Satan (the Dragon) for the life of world. This story unfolds through 4,000 years of redemptive history.

It is of course “a thriller” of a story and mystery as well. Only God in His infinite wisdom knew its solution, and He revealed it in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 2:7-9; Rom. 16:25-26). It’s also an action/adventure story. The Son of God came into the world to wage war against the Dragon and to destroy his works (Matt. 4; Rev. 19). I suppose on some level it’s even a romance. The resolution of the story required the eternal Bridegroom to lay down His life for the Bride He loved (Eph. 5:28). Jesus Christ, then, is the archetypical Hero, who really does save the world (John 3:16-17).

God’s Story: Big Plotlines

God’s story begins with the creation of the world and man’s fall into sin. Here the conflict within history begins. But at the garden gate, God promises to rescue His people (the Bride), but He does not explain in any detail how He will manage it. He speaks obscurely of “the Seed of the Woman” and institutes sacrifice (a foreshadowing of the Cross). As redemptive history unfolds, we see the life-and-death struggle between the Woman and her seed and the Dragon and his seed. The Dragon tries again and again to seize the Bride and bring forth his own seed through her or to destroy her and her seed. Sometimes he nearly succeeds. Yikes! These attempts are all plot complications. They introduce tension and we experience suspense as we wait to see what God will do. And, of course, God always maintains His promise and rescues the seed … usually in some creative, unexpected, even humorous way.

The People Behind “Adventures In Odyssey” Have A New Project!

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

As the story reaches its climax, God steps into the story as a true man (the Incarnation). But His identity is concealed (the prince-in-disguise, nice!). He comes with an incredible plan, divine power and self-sacrificing love. He is the Prophet, King, and Priest of redemption. He dies for His Bride (the ultimate plot complication) and rises from the dead to save her (the ultimate plot reversal). The Hero ascends His throne, and the story rushes quickly to its dénouement (last bits of business and final expla­nations) in the book of Acts and the Epistles. As Revelation shows us, the King and His Bride live happily ever after (final resolution). God’s story is very deep comedy and about as far away from pagan tragedy as you can get.

Humans As Storytellers

God’s story is reality. Most of ours are not. But because we are made in God’s image, we are by nature … image bearers and sub-creators. We imitate our heavenly Father in devising sequenced events that always stay in our limited sphere. We do so to probe the nature of God’s world as well as our own hearts. We invent stories for wonder, for relaxation and escape. We also create stories that inspire growth in understanding and wisdom. And here’s the thing … the better our stories conform to God’s template … the more powerful and impactful they will be.

Obviously, not every story can imitate the archetype in all its dimensions. This is normal, proper and just makes good sense. After all, even Scripture contains stories within stories. And though the doctrine of the Trinity guarantees that the Gospel story ends in glory … it contains many stories of sadness and defeat. Why? Well, sin and death are real problems in this crazy temporal world of ours. But not forever. The literary universe in which the Christian writes is one of love, truth, and hope. It is one that allows our imaginations to soar beyond the stars … but keeps our hearts grounded in the holiness and love of the Triune God.

For Further Reading:

Francis Nigel Lee, The Central Significance of Culture (N. p.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1976).

Henry R. Van Til, The Calvinistic Concept of Culture (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Co., 1972).

Gene Edward Veith, Reading between the Lines, A Christian Guide to Literature (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1990).

Gene Edward Veith, Postmodern Times, A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994).

Leland Ryken, The Christian Imagination (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981).

Leland Ryken, The Liberated Imagination, Thinking Christianly About the Arts (Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1989).

Leland Ryken, Realms of Gold: The Classics in Christian Perspective (Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1991).

Greg Uttinger, “The Trinity and Storytelling,” Chalcedon Report, Oct 2003, no. 456, Vallecito, CA.

Peter Leithart, Deep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, and Hope in Western Literature (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2006).

Richard Purtill, Lord of the Elves and Eldils: Fantasy and Philosophy in C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974).

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NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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The Ultimate Energizer Review – Does It Really Work?

energy

If you’re looking for a review of the ultimate energizer guide then you have come to the right spot because in this exclusive article we’re going to blow the lid off the ultimate energizer once and for all and reveal weather it is the real deal or not.

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The ultimate energizer review – is it worth it?

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About The Ultimate Energizer guide

The ultimate energizer is your ultimate guide to building your own alternative and portable energy source to power up any of your household appliances including refrigerators and aircon units. It is a very affordable way to having an emergency generator that can help you save more than 50% from your electricity bills without spending too much on other alternative energy source like solar panels or wind turbines which is costly and will also need a lot of space.

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About The Ultimate Energizer Creator

The creator of the complete the ultimate energizer guide is steven perkins. He found the journal of the founder of this technology in his home when his father shifted near quebec city in canada.

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Of course the ultimate energizer owners provide resources. But the truth is that you are a master creator. All of them have that talent in us. The only difference is the extent to which it is hidden in each of us.

Features of The Ultimate Energizer

The features of the ultimate energizer guide are as follows:-. This program guide will help you to design a the ultimate energizer generator which will follow the rules of linear induction motor which is built around a track that is orbicular to maintain the smooth motion of rotors that are transportable.

You can find here, a extensive review which highlights all the important features and performance criteria of the ultimate energizer. Use of the the ultimate energizer is very easy since all of the functions can be accessed in a short time; you have complete control over it. 100% money back guarantee shows that the ultimate energizer really works. The ultimate energizer gives full customer support for 7/24/365, also, features, credibility and the ultimate energizer’s ease of use are favorably satisfied by the buyers.

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Pros and Cons of The Ultimate Energizer

I’ve created this  honest ultimate energizer review to help you make a well-informed decision. I’ve tested it myself and now i’m going to share with you all the key aspects you may be interested in: how does it work? is it really so powerful and effective? what are its pros and cons?.

It is non-polluting. It remains popular the ultimate energizer guide pros & cons because it is both a renewable and clean source of energy. Harnessing solar energy is more than a fine idea it’s currently a reality in thousands of homes in a lot of nations around the world.

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On the review of the ultimate energizer guide, we will be looking into what exactly the program is all about, the details of the energy generator program, the benefits, pros & cons and our conclusion on the program.

Does The Ultimate Energizer really work?

The device is usable during emergencies. It works without fuels and therefore there are no expected fumes. It is weather proof. Cons of the ultimate energizer. You can only download the program from the official website.

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The ultimate energizer guide. The ultimate energizer is said to work for your home and cut electricity by 82%, guaranteed by tomorrow. The ultimate energizer reviews. It can boost any type of electricity by as much as 5 times.

Advantages of The Ultimate Energizer Program

The program can benefit you in many ways. Below we are listing the advantages of using the ultimate energizer program for generating electricity:. This device will help you save up to 60%-70%, without investing money in solar panels which can cost you a lot of money.

There are additional the ultimate energizer guide program advantages too, including advantages at tax time, so do your homework on what you might have for being a solar power pioneer contributed back.

Why The Ultimate Energizer is Useful?

The ultimate energizer is a complete guide and blueprint. With it, you get everything you need to know to build your own free energy generator. This generator can be completed for less than $50 if you have some tools already. But i remember reading another review of the ultimate energizer, and the guy said he took days. Maybe he was crafty. Then, you assemble it and get it to work.

You will be guided step by step, that anybody who can read can build it. You do not need prior building experience or massive strength; it is that easy. Building the ultimate energizer takes under 4 hours if you are slow and definitely a lot less when you have help.

The ultimate energizer has already changed the lives of over 30,000 families who chose to power their homes using this eco-friendly device. This is definitely a good investment that is worth your time and money and if you think it isn’t after trying it out, you can request for a refund.

Is The Ultimate Energizer a Scam?

The ultimate energizer guide really show you how to power your house and save tremendously, or is this just another overhyped scam? this system was created after its owner decided he wanted to have a home power generating system in case of any crises or disasters.

The ultimate energizer pdf. It does not need any conventional electric power. The ultimate energizer scam. In this program, you can also build more generator and sell for profit. This product can also be incorporated into the automobile to power an electric motor.

All you need is an open mind and a desire to try new things to get a life in the field of freedom of energy. So, what are you waiting for? it’s time to say goodbye to major energy companies and start using the ultimate energizer guide today.

Watch this video demonstration of the ultimate energizer guide put into action

 

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The post <span style="color:#ff0000">Better Off-Grid Deal Yet? Good This Weekend Only!</span> appeared first on Off The Grid News.

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