The Five Part Story
So what is The Five Part Story? It is the way in which we at Everybody's Church organize the Biblical story. As many of you are aware it is often hard for us as Christians to gain a handle on the scriptures from which our faith is derived. The scriptures, composed of 66 books, written over more than a thousand years, with different types of literature, telling us of ancient times and persons from long ago can be hard to understand.
Over the years people have told me of their efforts to read the Bible all the way through, but then they gave up somewhere in the book of Numbers. Fortunately the scriptures, even if hard to get through, actually tell a simple story interwoven with complex human experiences. The story is this: God loves the world; we wandered far from God; God chooses a family; Jesus is the way to God; and the Spirit helps us live God's love. Almost any story or book in the Bible can find a home in this five part story.
N.T. Wright, in his book Scripture and the Authority of God, offers a slightly different five part story, or a five act play: Creation, Fall, Israel, Jesus, Church. All of these are covered by our story, simply in another fashion.
God Loves the World reminds us that the foundation for the universe as well as our lives is God's love for all of creation. This love is evident from beginning to end in the scriptures.
We Wandered Far From God tells the story of sin; of humanity choosing to walk down the path of death-dealing ways rather than the life-giving ways of God. We can see these death-dealing ways in war, abuse, slavery and violence of all kinds.
God Chooses a Family lets us know that God refuses to allow sin to be the final word for the world. Instead God chooses a family through which God will save humanity and restore the good creation.
Jesus is the Way to God shows us that in Jesus Christ we have found the one who is the way, the truth and life. It is Jesus who has made it possible for us to return to the way of life. Scripture even calls him the pioneer and completer of our faith.
The Spirit Helps Us Live God's Love tells us how the Holy Spirit takes the work of Jesus Christ and makes it real in our lives. In addition the Spirit actually takes hold of us and draws us into the very heart of God's love.