Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Blue Parakeet: Chapter 4

In chapter 4 of Scot McKnight's fine Blue Parakeet, it's all about story and the retelling of the story with fresh nuance at each and every turn. He calls these retellings "wiki-stories" in the manner that the Wikipedia is put together article by article - hey, in some cases word by word, by the bearers of remarkably different viewpoints united in a common cause; it's a distributed model for a post-Babel world. What else could serve such a disparate, dispersed people?

Scot uses Mt 4:1-11 (TM) to illustrate the idea of wiki-story. It's the story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, and Scot explains that this could serve as a "perfected" retelling of either Adam & Eve's temptation, or the wilderness travails of the children of Israel. Either one works; indeed, maybe that's the point - Jesus steps in to whatever story and, in walking through it again, redeems it and reconciles it to Himself. And just this small taste, this one example, starts to open up an entire universe of possibilities for us: maybe this is how the ministry of reconciliation actually works! And then we're able to make the traditional application of rebuking Satan and his temptations with scripture just like Jesus, only now, through this reading of the story as a wiki-story, we're suddenly much more solidly grounded, more thoroughly prepared for the vagaries of life.

The Bible is flexible. It's vast. It's wide, covering a bazillion different things, and it's deep, restating some themes over and over with subtle variations, fitting itself through these countless iterations closer and closer to where we actually are, wherever we've actually washed up, painfully in need of rescue.

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