Before going on my summer holiday/vacation, I looked around my office and grabbed the books that I want to read. The ones that inspire me the most and help me to be restored, re-focused and replenished. One of those booked I grabbed was my copy of God’s Epic Adventure, by Winn Griffin (US link here). This summer I’m trying to get into my bible more, to soak in the story of scripture and grasp more of the bigger picture of God’s mission in the world. I want my own story to be framed by the narrative of scripture - with God’s story as the measure for my life instead of all the other stories that compete for my attention.
Those other stories tell me my church isn’t big enough, I haven’t been successful enough for my age and stage in life, I haven’t accomplished enough personally or professionally. Those stories lead to anxiety, fear, worry, decisions and attentions for my life that are not about my life in Jesus.
There are several ways I have been trying to have God’s story furnish imagination - reading the bible through in a year, daily office prayers that take me through the whole bible, memorising verses of scripture to recall when I need to measure who and where I am.
But I have also sought the help of some travelling companions, writers who help bring the bible story into perspective into greater contact with my daily life.
Winn Griffin with God’s EPIC adventure has been one of my key companions.
Why do I find it so helpful?
1. Story/Narrative Method: Winn uses the model from N T Wright (inspired by the idea of theo-dramatic from Hans Urs Von Balthasar), where he compares the drama of redemption to a Shakespeare play, most of whose fifth act is missing.
The church has the first four acts (creation, fall, Israel, Christ) but must work out the fifth act (church) for herself, all the while remaining in character. It is not enough for the actors “merely to parrot what has already been said”; they must go beyond the sacred page and find—improvise!—the conclusion. Still, the first four acts are the “authority” for the fifth act, hence the idea of “improvising with a script.”
Winn uses this approach to work through and provide an overview of the whole of the bible in 5 acts.
This method also avoids just trying to memorise verses parrot fashion, or breaking the bible down into facts to know. Instead it helps us see the bible as an unfolding story of God’s mission in the world, and our place within that.
2. An overview of the whole bible: Use Winn’s book to take you through the whole of the bible and you will get an picture of the whole of the bible.
3. My church and christian location: Winn come from my church tradition as a charismatic evangelical. That means I get a tour of the bible where God is seen alive and at work today.