The following is an excerpt from Strangers and Aliens: A Christian Sci-fi Author Examines the Argument for Extraterrestrial Life.
First and foremost, the Bible is a book of Wonders, which is little wonder (pun intended) if you stop to consider how very creative its Chief Author is. The Bible contains records of supernatural miracles and prophecies to inspire awe and wonder of God in those who read its stories. The God we serve created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in six short days … and even had time at the end of each day to appreciate His own handiwork and place His personal stamp of approval on it. When we look at the night sky through a telescope or at the incredibly tiny worlds captured between the slides of a microscope, we see the level of detail and grandeur of which the ultimate Creative Type is capable of. We admire Tolkien for the influence his work as a linguist had upon his stories, but it was God who spoke first, and who first imagined not only human language, but whale and bird song and the dancing language of bees.
When the Creator came to this earth, He certainly preached; however, the Master Teacher also chose creative teaching stories (parables) to get His points across. You see, stories, like songs, tend to stick with you, making their lessons easy to recall and to generalize to our particular situation. Maybe that’s why much of the inspired Word of God is broken down into stories. The Author and the Editor of our faith can certainly be counted on to know a thing or two about the art of effective storytelling!
Some of my fellow Christian apologists disparage this tendency to look at the Bible’s history in terms of stories.
There’s concern that we learn history in school, but mere Bible stories in church, diminishing the influence of Scriptural truth in our children’s lives. I’ve fallen off of this particular bandwagon. You see, as a storyteller I’ve come to realize that the power of the Gospel is in the fact that it is the Greatest Story Ever Told. The Bible is what we call a True Myth. By myth, I do not mean a story that is not true; in the academic sense, a myth is “a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of a society.” So by True Myth, I mean a story that can shape cultures and change lives which also happens to be historically true.
Evolutionists are only just realizing the power of the story. Michael Dowd and his wife Connie Barlow style themselves as “evolution evangelists.” One of the things they’ve begun to promote is what they call “The Great Story.” Also known as the Universe Story, Epic of Evolution, or Big History, the Great Story is, according to the couple’s website, “humanity’s common creation story… a sacred narrative of an evolving Universe of emergent complexity and breathtaking creativity — a story that offers each of us the opportunity to find meaning and purpose in our lives and our time in history.”
They have the Great Story, but we still have the Greatest Story Ever Told, and ours makes a great deal more sense to the reader. The “Great Story” lacks a point. I mean, we’re really supposed to find meaning and purpose in something that, if true, is indifferent, undirected, pitiless, meaningless and blind?? They say that we must make our own meaning, but what that really means is that we must make-believe that anything has meaning at all! Such a worldview is an empty box wrapped in bright promises. As dear Mr. Tumnus would say, “always winter and never Christmas.”
In any case, my point is that we don’t really have to choose between Biblical history and Bible stories – it’s preferable that we don’t!