His Story

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History is (of course) an essential category to use in describing the Bible.  The Bible has a narrative structure.  What kind of narrative is it?  A theologically-annotated one (see previous post).  Also, an historical one.  It is not enough to say that the Bible is a true story, because stories can be true in different ways.  We must also assert and defend the claim that the Bible is true history.

That having been said, it should also be said that even calling the Bible "history" may not be sufficient in these post-modern times, because history itself is increasingly viewed as a perspectival enterprise.  We do not have facts, only differing perspectives on what happened.  In this context, it may be important to say that the Bible is divinely authored history that gives a God's-eye perspective of what happened.  God doesn't have a point of view; he has a complete view.

I also still want to say that narrative or story is a useful (if by itself incomplete) category for understanding the Bible.  It reminds us that the Bible is unified, not simply because its propositions are logically consistent, but also because it tells one grand story of the one true God and his one people in history.  Also, we ourselves are part of the story that the Bible tells.  The term "history" is usually understood to refer to things that have happened in the past.  But the Bible also tells us our story -- the story of what God is doing in the universe today, until the end of time. 
Posted December 21, 2007 @ 11:24 AM by Phil Ryken
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