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Wright on Story, Worldviews and Theology

Telling stories was (according to the synoptic gospels) one of Jesus' most characteristic modes of teaching. And . . . it would clearly be quite wrong to see these stories as mere illustrations of truths that could in principle have been articulated in a purer more abstract form. They were ways of breaking open the worldview of Jesus' hearers, so that it could be remoulded into the worldview which he, Jesus, was commending. His stories, like all stories in principle, invited his hearers into a new world, making the implicit suggestion that the new worldview be tried on for size with a view to permanent purchase. . .

If it is true that all worldviews are at the deepest level shorthand formulae to express stories, this is particularly clear in the case of Judaism. Belief in one god, who called Israeli to be his people, is the very foundation of Judaism. The only proper way of talking about a god like this, who makes the world and then acts within it, is through narration. To 'boil off' an abstract set of propositions as though one were thereby getting to a more foundational statement would actually be to falsify this worldview at a basic point.


NT Wright, NTPG, p77

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