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SWFOI

SWFOI

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Published by coachweav88
highlights of God's story as found in the Bible from beginning to end.
highlights of God's story as found in the Bible from beginning to end.

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Published by: coachweav88 on Feb 04, 2009
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06/15/2009

 
The Story We Find Ourselves InIn this country every year, billions of dollars are spent in the entertainment industry, particularlythe movie industry. Why do films such as “Lord of the Rings”, “Forest Gump”, “Gladiator”, or “ABeautiful Mind” captivate our culture? The answer is because people love a good story; one they canrelate to or feel that they are a part of. Philosophers such as Alasdair MacIntyre point out that stories helpus to identify ourselves in relation to the world and in relation to each other. Stories give meaning andcoherence to the seemingly random events of our lives. In his boo
 After Virtue
, MacIntyre states, “I canonly answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story or stories do Ifind myself apart of?’”
1
 Because stories have the capacity to shape our lives, I would like to present a story that accordingto Neo, a character in Brian McClaren’s
The Story We Find Ourselves In,
“has the truest news, the deepestviews, the highest theme, the most inspiring dream, the plot most full of meaning and magic, vigor andrigor, startle and sparkle, emotion and motion.”
2
This is the story of both God and humanity as found in theOld and New Testaments. Along with McClaren’s book, I will also use concepts from Jonathan R. Wilson’s
God So Loved the World.
The story will be presented in seven episodes: Creation, Crisis, Calling,Conversation, Christ, Church, Consummation
3
.CreationBefore the world was formed and before time was created, there was nothing except God. As Neo points out, “God, a life, a mind, a heart, an intelligence, a creative personality, an essential goodness, aninexpressible beauty, a light beyond all seeing, an infinite song that by its very being gives meaning tomeaning, gives glory to glory, gives life to life, a pure consciousness-pure in every sense of the word.”
4
God, this Supreme Being, decides to become what he has never been before, the creator. However, in order to create something that really exists, God must first create something outside of himself, otherwisecreation wouldn’t be real. It would just be an idea of God. Just as a painter needs a canvas to make his
1
 
Alasdair MacIntyre,
 After Virtue
, Second Edition, Univeristy of Notre Dame. Notre Dame, IN. 1984. p.216.
2
Brian D. McClaren,
The Story We Find Ourselves in
, Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA. 2003 p. 25.
3
This outline is found in McClaren’s book.
4
McClaren,
The Story We Find Ourselves In,
p.28
 
creations real and not just something in his head, God creates time and space as his canvas of creation. Sowe come to Genesis 1:1, “In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
5
 This passagecontinues to verse two by saying, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” To the ancient Hebrews who recorded thisstory, darkness and water were two symbols of chaos. We see in this creation narrative, God bringing order from chaos and giving meaning to creation. Creation is derives meaning from and is dependent on God.Finally we come to the apex of God’s creation, mankind. Genesis 1:27 says. “So God created man in hisown image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Mankind is the only part of creation with this special distinction of being made in the image of God. What this suggests isuncertain. Neo points out that it could possibly be our intelligence, consciousness, our consciousness, or our ability to create.
6
 As we come to the end of the first chapter of Genesis we see God giving his goodcreation to mankind as a gift to enjoy and care for, not as something to be exploited. Genesis 1 concludeswith the phrase, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and therewas morning-the sixth day.” So we see the goodness of God’s creation.It is seldom realized that there are two creation stories in the book of Genesis. Chapter 1, whichwe have discussed already is a story with more of a cosmic view, meaning that it is the story of the wholeuniverse. Chapter 2 is the story told from the perspective of mankind or in other words, it is the story of mankind. One thing that we notice in chapter two is that God has given man His good creation as a gift, but there is one thing that is not so good about it. Man is alone. To remedy this, God creates woman.What this tells us is that mankind was not created to be sufficient in and of himself. He needs to beconnected not only with God, but with other people and the rest of creation. At the close of the secondchapter of Genesis we see mankind enjoying both his creator and God’s creation while being totallydependent on the Creator.CrisisAt the close of Genesis two, we see man kind created to enjoy both God and Creation, beingdependant on God. However in this episode of the story we see mankind getting as McClaren describes“Too smart, too powerful for their own good.” In Genesis 1 and 2 we see all of creation being dependent
5
All quotations of scripture are taken from from the New International Version
6
McClaren,
The Story We Find Ourselves In
, p. 39-40
 
on God. In Chapters 3-11 of Genesis we see mankind going beyond his limits as a creature, leaving chaosin his wake, destroying God’s good creation. When coffee is contained in a cup, it is quite good.However, if it is spilled it makes quite a mess. The same is true with mankind. When mankind goesoutside of his limits as God’s creation and tries to become independent of the Creator, he makes a realmess. The first instance of this is with Adam and Eve. Discontent to be dependant on God and notwanting to be limited, they eat the forbidden fruit, alienating them from God and from each other. Themess doesn’t stop there. It continues in Chapter 4 when their son Cain kills their son Abel. The chaos andcorruption continues for the first eleven chapters in Genesis. In Genesis 1 and 2 we see God bringing order from chaos. In chapters 3 to 11, we see mankind undoing God’s creation by bringing chaos. Episode 1:Creation and Episode 2: Crisis are still going on today. We still see mankind trying to be independent of God, wreaking havoc on creation and feeling disconnected from God.CallingIn Genesis 12 there is a new direction in the story. God chose a man named Abram, later changinghis name to Abraham, and presented him with a fantastic invitation. Genesis 12:1-3 say “The LORD saidto Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse; and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.’” God chose this man Abraham and told him that He would create a greatnation out of him. God was going to create a new kind of people in the world. These people, thedescendants of Abraham, would be blessed by God so that they could be a blessing to the rest of the world.They were not to hoard their blessing or their special status, using it to manipulate or control other nations.They were to be God’s crisis response team or God’s resistance movement against evil
7
.ConversationAfter God makes the promise to Abraham, he miraculously gives him a son named Isaac, whoseson Jacob (God changes his name to Israel) has 12 children and move to Egypt because of a famine. After about 400 years, Jacob’s descendants have grown numerous in Egypt and have become enslaved by theEgyptians. God raises up a man named Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the Egyptians and lead
7
Ibid., p.63-70.

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