4 Reasons to Teach the Bible’s Storyline
by Trevin Wax
Some of you may be wondering why so many people are talking about the Bible’s storyline lately. What’s the big deal? Why is it so important for Christians to be able to connect the dots of the Bible’s grand narrative? Here are four reasons.
1. To gain a biblical worldview
The first reason we need to keep the biblical storyline in mind is because the narrative of the Bible is the narrative of the world. The Bible doesn’t just give us commands and prohibitions. It gives us an entire worldview.
We all live according to a worldview. A worldview is the lens through which we see the world and make decisions. It’s like wearing a pair of glasses. You don’t think about looking at your glasses when you have them on. You look through them to see the world around you. Everyone has a worldview, even people who are not Christians.
Unfortunately, there are many Christians who do not have a Christian worldview. They may display some of the religious trappings of Christianity, but they demonstrate by their choices that they are living by another worldview.
The storyline of the Bible is important because it helps us think as Christians formed by the great Story that tells the truth about our world. It is vitally important that people know the overarching storyline of the Bible that leads from creation, to our fall into sin, to redemption through Jesus Christ, and final restoration in the fullness of time. If we are to live as Christians in a fallen world, we must be shaped by the grand narrative of the Scriptures, the worldview we find in the Bible.
2. To recognize and reject false worldviews
A few years ago, two sociologists studying the religious views of young people in North America coined the phrase “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Those are three big words that sum up the following five beliefs of many in our society today:
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- “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.” (That’s the “Deism” part. God created the world, watches things, but doesn’t do much in the way of intervening in human affairs.)
- “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.” (That’s the Moralistic part. The goal of religion is to be a nice, moral person.)
- “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.” (That’s the Therapeutic part. The most important thing in life is to be happy and well-balanced.)
- “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.” (Now, we see the Deistic view of God combine with God’s therapeutic purpose. He exists to make us happy.)
- “Good people go to heaven when they die.” (Salvation is accomplished through morality.)
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. “Moralism,” for short. Our society is awash in this worldview. Even longtime church members are not immune to it.
So, if we are going to be effective witnesses to the gospel in our day and age, we must put forth a biblical view of the world that counters rival worldviews. Just think, if you were called to be a missionary to India, wouldn’t you first study Hinduism to see how it affects the culture and the people’s view of God there? Wouldn’t part of your strategy be to show how Christianity counters the Hindu worldview
Likewise, if you were called to be a missionary to Iran, would you not study the worldview of Muslims and see where Christianity and Islam diverge? A good missionary knows what Christianity teaches as opposed to what the dominant worldview of the culture says, even if that worldview is the moralistic therapeutic deism of the United States…