Reading the Whole Bible
Brian has posted an excellent piece on the necessity of teaching the whole of the Bible:
Preach the big picture of the Bible regularly. A foundation of a missional hermeneutic or approach to Scripture is a commitment to the whole of Scripture as the story of God’s mission in the world. The Christ following community needs to hear the biblical narrative as a whole proclaimed in a single message or teaching block. Just as many churches regularly preach series on their core values, communities of faith who desire to live out the biblical narrative need to hear it in its totality often. I would recommend beginning each year with a message that succinctly captures the overarching contours of the Bible. Rehearing the story from Creation to New Creation provides the foundation for rooting the self-understanding of the community in God’s mission. God’s people are a missional community that reflects God’s character to/for/in the world…
…Such an approach initiates outsiders and recent converts to the contours of the Bible. In our post-Christian reality, the biblical message must be (re)taught continually. A basic knowledge of the Gospel message can no longer be assumed. It is vital for the Christ following movement to move away from fragmented approaches to preaching and teaching to a wholistic approach in which the preacher/teacher walks the tightrope between in depth study of discrete parts of the Scripture and the rooting of discrete texts within the broader contours of the Gospel. (read the whole article)
The fact that we cannot expect outsiders to follow a part of the Biblical story when they don’t grasp the message of the whole narrative is particularly important.
On a passing note, Jason Bayasee posted an interesting piece a week or so back complaining about those who use the term Christ Follower rather than Christian. He has some good points, but it is equally true that the term ‘Christian’ now carries so much socio-political baggage that it is starting to lose its meaning.