Treating the Gospels like a Bad Date

In an earlier post, I noted the comments of Jonathan Pennington of the transformative power of Gospel narrative. Here’s one of my favorite of his illustrations:

… Along these lines, imagine that a man wants to take his beloved wife on the date to romantic movie. Of the last minute he decides that it would be far cheaper and much more efficient to go to Blockbuster, find the “romantic comedy” section, and together read all the synopses on the back of the DVD boxes. Why would that not have the same effect? Why would this be a failed to date? Because it is the story – it’s setting, development, climax, resolution, and the fact that it takes time to experience – that is the films Hower. The all (often deceitful) summary on the back cover may guide one choosing a selection, but it cannot replace the experience of the story because story cannot be reduced to its content. If the narrative did not matter, then we could just have the synopsis and be done with it. We could suck the doctrinal truth out of the Gospels, and then we wouldn’t need to waste our time with studying them anymore. We have the “truth”; Mission accomplished. But this fails to understand God’s revelation in our God-created human nature.

-Jonathan T. Pennington, Reading the Gospels Wisely


Posted on January 1, 2013, in Great Quotes, Hermeneutics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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