Theology 101: Slowing the Story Down

Each week, we’ve been taking this space to review some basic theology as we walk through highlights of the biblical narrative. Because space is in limited supply, each installment builds off earlier ones. We put each installment on our blog in case you’ve missed one.

Last week, we arrived in Genesis 12 and the beginning of Abraham’s story. Specifically, we noted that through Abraham, God sought to reintroduce blessing into a world characterized by curse. We will want to spend two weeks highlighting some important themes developed in Abraham’s story, but let’s begin that next week. This week, we will spend just a moment thinking about how the Bible often works as a story.

In the first eleven chapters of Genesis, things move very quickly. Genesis 1-5 covers a large chunk of time. We slow down for Noah’s story in Genesis 6-9. Then Genesis 7-11 covers a large chunk of time. In Genesis 12-50, the narrative slows to a crawl, focusing on only four generations of one family, with a particular emphasis on Abraham. When telling a story, which Genesis is, this sort of slow down is one major way of drawing serious attention to that part of the narrative. When that happens, we want to pay particular attention to what is being said. It is usually big stuff. Next week, we will begin to unpack why the story slows with Abraham.