Friday, November 21, 2008

Getting into God's story

I'm studying Genesis at the moment and loving getting to the narrative.

Richard Pratt's excellent book He gave us stories is a helpful textbook approach to thinking about how to engage God's narratives and begin to study and preach them.

James Jordan's Primeval Saints is less about how to handle narrative and more an imaginative look at the details of the text of Genesis - to see how the repeating details and themes unlock the message of this foundational book. It's not necessarily a book that you're going to agree with everything in, but it's masterful and enjoyable in drawing into the stories that shape the rest of God's plans in the Bible.

Jordan writes along similar lines to Stephen Dempster's Dominion and Dynasty and Peter Leithart's The Kingdom and the Power.


  1. I really enjoyed "He gave us stories". As you say, it is a text-book approach (for example, going into quite a lot of detail breaking narratives into small units of time, which isn't always that helpful, although being told to look out for gustatory elements of the narrative was fun) and the sections on looking at what message the books were intended to convey in their contexts, and on application to Christ's first and second comings, and to the church age, were very good indeed.

    How are you finding Jordan? I've read "Through New Eyes" and while it's quite fun seeing the connections he makes, sometimes I think the schemes he develops (e.g. about the structure of the world) slightly far-fetched.

  2. Pratt is going on my shelf with Greidenus, Goldsworthy and some other long-term preaching helps. Big book.

    This is my first Jordan book. I think maybe he over-reads some bits, but then evidently I've been seriously under-reading the text before. I think I love his flair, the guy obviously loves a good story - and he's interacting with the best one!