Webber & Story

I really enjoyed Robert Webber's article in the Spring 2006 Criswell Theological Review: "Narrating the World Once Again: A Case for an Ancient-Future Faith."  If you get a chance and can find a copy of the CTR, read it.  My "tight" evangelical readers may shiver at all the uses of the word "story" or "narrative," but hey, our existence and ministry is rooted in, concerning, and continuing The Story.  So there. :) 

A couple of quotes...

I want to articulate three very specific paths for the Emerging church to follow in order to restore the ancient biblical and historical narrative from which to minister in a post Christian world: 1) deconstruct the current accommodation of ministry to the cultural narrative, 2) recover the story-formed nature of the good news, and 3) re-situate ministry in the divine narrative. (p 16)

Evangelicalism is so thoroughly conditioned by the culture in which it seeks to minister, that it has the appearance of the commonplace.  It has become what people want to hear, not what it is that God wants to say and do.  This indictment of evangelical Christianity--that it is culturally conditioned--is only the surface problem.  The deeper problem is that by allowing itself to become conditioned by the "surface culture," it missed the point of the deeper cultural crisis.  This crisis is that our world has become storyless.  There is no unified story that gives meaning to life and history.  Everything has been reduced to "my" story.  But there is no universal story in which my story is situated. (p 19)

The task of the next generation of leaders is to disassociate themselves from the culturally conditioned practices of the evangelical church, and recover the divine narrative in which all ministry is situated. (p 20)