Stories and the True Story

As a Christian living in modern Nigeria, I am confronted with 2 narratives or stories about reality: the Western humanist story, and the Biblical story. Which is true?

*”One story begins in our evolutionary past and sees history in terms of the progressive development of human mastery over nature by science and technology that leads to a world of freedom and material prosperity. The other story begins with the creation of the world and ends with its renewal, and leads through a narrow road marked by Israel, Jesus, and the church. God’s work in Israel and in the church, and especially in Jesus, offer a clue to the meaning of history.”

The Western story is centred on man as the main actor; the Biblical story is the story of God directing the affairs of man. The first story is a story of man evolving and striving for a world of limitless freedom and prosperity (however this is defined). The second story is the story of a good God creating a perfect universe, which man distorts through his rebellion, and then this same God delivering humanity and restoring the beauty of his creation through a saviour. One is a story of God-less optimism, accomplishment, and progress; the other is a story of grace leading to a relationship.

We cannot be neutral to these stories. They claim our submission. *”As universal history, these stories make absolute and totalitarian claims on our lives. They claim to understand the world as it really is, and interpret the true meaning of history. Thus the way we understand all of human life depends on what we believe to be the true story of the world.” The value in any of these stories is that it must be true to reality. It must be a true story.

The secular story comes short, for it ignores man’s most basic need. And this is not the need for Food, Sex, or Pleasure. It is the need for Meaning.

*’Story and Biblical Theology’ by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen (sourced from



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