how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Some excellent reflections, Mark! Thank you.

One response I would make at this point is that a narrative-historical approach ought to be able to accommodate the contextualized development that was the theology of Christendom. I think the Greeks were doing what they had to do as a consequence of the success of the apocalyptic narrative. They had to answer Greek questions, and they devised many hermeneutical strategems to give the appearance at least that they were answering those questions biblically. That is all part of the story that we tell about ourselves.

The problem now is that the theologies of Christendom no longer answer the questions that the western world is asking. So they are problematic at both ends: they misunderstand scripture and they misunderstand our post-Christendom context.

So the story of the people of God keeps moving forwards. How we currently locate ourselves in it is a complex calculation involving the historical texts of scripture, the ongoing narrative of church history, and the present quandary that we face. I would suggest that conversation with Islam is an important part of this calculation and should be taken into account as we try to make sense of who Jesus is.