Friday, November 25, 2011

The story that all humans know in their bones they want to hear

"Being a Christian means living from within a particular story,. It is the subversive story of God and the world, focussed on Israel and thence on the Messiah, and reaching its climax in the Messiah's death and resurrection.

No Christian can ever tell this story too frequently, or know it too well, because it is the story that has shaped him or her in baptism and that must continue to shape thought, life and prayer thereafter... the exodus sttory, which stands behind so much of [Romans 6] remains decisive... Just as Jewish people discovered in the exodus story the character of their rescuing God, so the covenant faithfulness of this same God has been fully unveiled in the paschal events of Golgotha and Easter.

Learning about the Christian life and learning about the God revealed in Jesus Christ are two sides of the coin... the exodus story offers itself as the true story of the human race, and the Christian retelling of this story in terms of the death and resurrection of Jesus Chirst must do so as well. This story, if true cannot siply be one little story among others, as tohugh it could take its place happily on the cultural smorgasbord, offering a certain kind of religious experience, alongside other stories that effectively enslaved humans and led them off to die.

Even the postmodern critique that insists that all large metanarratives are instruments of slavery appeals to, and gets its power from, one story that, it assumes, is not and that story is precisely is own version, filtered through many layers of cultural accretions, of the exodus narrative, the freeing of slaves from Pharaoh's yoke. The Christian gospel is, at this level, telling the story that all humans know n their bones they want to hear."

NT Wright, The Bible Interpreter's Commentary on Romans, p547-8

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