Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The blue parakeet - 2

In ch. 5 of Scot McKnight's The Blue Parakeet he spells out "How the Bible works." This is a really good chapter. Reminds me of McLaren's 'The Story We Find Ourselves In' somewhat.

He says on p. 66, "We say the Bible is Story because if we read it from beginning to end, we discover that it has three features: it has a PLOT (creation to consumation), it has CHARACTERS (God - Father, Son, and Spirit - and God's people and the world and creation around them), and it also has many AUTHORS who together tell the story."

The rest of the chapter lays out the plot and theme of the Bible. He purports that each author in the Bible writes their story within this plot, but they are given freedom to tell the story in their own way. So whether you're reading Exodus, Ezra, Malachi, Mark, Acts, Hebrews, or whatever, you must read each book as a variation on this plot. The plot is...

1. God creates Eikons - who are designed for oneness. It begins with The Adam, and the lonely Adam is split into two - the Ish (man) and the Ishah (woman). God made the Ishah from the man's rib, from his side, as a symbol of companionship and mutuality rather than subordination. The idea is that they would together become "one flesh" again, and marriage would symbolize the union of oneness in love. Marriage completes creation, so to speak, and restores The Adam.

2. But then we encounter Cracked Eikons - a distortion of oneness, and creation of otherness. This is what we refer to as sin. It is going against what God said. Not only is the oneness distorted by having to leave Eden, it is distorted between The Adam and God, and between themselves. He says on p. 72, "This otherness problem is what the gospel 'fixes,' and the story of the Bible is the story of God's people struggling with otherness and searching for oneness."

3. Covenant Community - the struggle for oneness - is what he suggests too many of us miss in the story. He says most of us think the plot consists of 'creation, fall, and redemption.' We miss a huge, huge, huge, portion of the Bible dealing with community. More specifically with our inability to achieve oneness/community on our own. So...

4. We have Christ, the Perfect Eikon, and oneness is restored. On p. 75 he says, "The Bible's story has a plot headed in the direction of a PERSON. And that same story is headed in the direction of a COMMUNITY "in" that person (Christ)... The story of the Bible takes the otherness of cracked Eikons and directs us toward Jesus Christ, in whom alone we find oneness." He says "God accomplishes four things in Christ, each of which contributes to the restoration of oneness. These four things do the job, end the otherness, and create the oneness that the story of the Bible has been yearning for." They are: INCARNATION - Jesus becomes one with us; one of us. DEATH - Jesus dies with us, instead of us, and for us. RESURRECTION - dead Eikons walk again. PENTECOST - the covenant community can be empowered to restoration with God, self, others, and the world (oneness). Which will culminate in...

5. Consummation - oneness forever. Restoration is a two-part work. Jesus' first coming is a partial redemption. The fullness will come when God once again "opens the gates to Eden" and we have a new heaven and earth, with complete oneness.

A good chapter. I will likely preach some of this.