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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Telling Stories

Storytelling is a large part of how we communicate to one another in our everyday lives. If something happens to you and you want someone else to know about it, you tell the events which occured in a story format. In fact, this has been the case, it would seem, since recorded history, whether the story be fact or fiction.

What this does not mean is that every story, or narrative, is fiction (or nonhistorical as the case may be). Some stories told are quite accurately dipicting events which actually occurred, others are, however, told as fiction to actually demonstrate a point or present a certain meaning behind reality. Nonetheless, the intent of the story is to communicate one thing or the other, whether the story is fiction or fact. Communication is the pulse of the story.

So why am I harping here on "stories?" What's up with that. Well, this is a topic that has been on my mind for at least a half a year, maybe longer. To what extent does the Bible use stories? Or in what context, and for what purpose? These questions seem to further lead to the question of whether certain stories (or narratives) in the texts of Scripture are fact or fiction, and does it matter, if certain narratives are fiction, but are included in the text for the purpose of revealing certain truths or meanings about certain things?

The reason I am posting on this is that over the weekend this very topic was the centerpiece of discussion for the usual "gathering" I participate in with two or three other friends every other weekend. So the topic is fresh, and has, quite frankly, been biting at my mind all weekend long.

So how are stories used in the Bible? And, are there any stories in the texts of Scripture that are nonhistorical but are used to convey a certain meaning or truth about some thing? I think the answer to this last question is "yes." But if this is the case, how do we know which stories are historical and which are not? My next few posts will be centered around these questions.


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