I was struck today from something I am reading on the thinking of David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. It comes from Kingdom Come published by Leafwood publishers and is written by a professor friend of mine, John Mark Hicks and a co-author, Bobby Valentine. On their chapter concerning Lipscomb and Harding’s emphasis on the importance of Bible study, the authors elaborate on an increasingly popular analogy that I found pretty insightful.
Living the story of God is like performing a drama. Our life in Christ is analogous to a group of Shakespearean disciples who want to perform a newly discovered six-act play by Shakespeare. But the fifth act is missing. We only have the first four acts and the last one. Suppose, however, these disciples wanted to perform the play. How can they perform it without the fifth act? They will have to improvise. In order to do so, they would have to “live and breathe” the [other] works of Shakespeare. By knowing the mind of Shakespeare and thoroughly understanding the extant acts, they are able to improvise the fifth act in a way that is faithful to the other acts.
Christian discipleship is like performing the fifth act. Scripture bears witness to the mind of God in Christ. We have the first act—Creation—and thus know God’s intent for his world. We have the second act—
Their conclusion was that our ability to faithfully improvise and perform this “fifth act” depends directly upon our “living and breathing” the works that we do know… the writings of Scripture. We come to know the mind of God through our knowledge of Scripture… and without that knowledge we are left wandering aimlessly in this life. Pretty insightful, I thought…