HOW NOT TO GET THE BIBLE WRONG by S. M. Baugh for Core Christianity

The Bible is a story and like any story, it has a beginning progressing to an end. Some people treat the Bible like a static collection of “do’s” and “don’ts” or as a theological handbook on successful living or such. In fact, it is a story about God and his dealings with the world he created from the beginning to end. But to say that it is a story does not mean a fairy tale—it is a true story, but a story nonetheless.

One feature of stories is that they have a certain unity both in characters and in plot. And even if both these elements of characters and plot develop over time, they never completely lose their fundamental identifying features even as they evolve. And if characters and plot do change radically and unrecognizably into something else, then the story is not a particularly good one—and the Bible is the best of stories, so its unity is never lost even as its characters and plot unfold.

One helpful image which has been used for this unfolding of the Bible’s story is that of an acorn growing into a full-grown oak. In the early phases of divine, biblical revelation, the story resembles an acorn developing into a sapling. The transition between the two seems fairly radical even at this early stage, but the sapling is an oak sapling sprouting from an oak acorn. It is not a maple, a marigold, or a magpie. And the difference as the sapling grows into a majestic, spreading oak is impressive, nevertheless, there is an organic unity in the tree throughout its life as it branches out in all its glory.

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So also, the Bible has an organic unity in its story even as it branches out into a mature presentation of God’s glorious and gracious redemption in Christ Jesus. As such, this unity in the Bible’s story is expressed in the core theme of the unveiling of the kingdom of God.

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