Is there a narrative or story that applies to all people throughout all of history? Does anything speak to humanity with univocal impact? I believe that the Bible is the narrative that best explains the human story. It answers the main questions of life: Origin: Where did we come from? Meaning: Why are we here? Morality: How should we live? And Destiny: Where are we going?
The Bible cannot be localized and limited. It embraces the whole account of humanity by answering the four questions above. An example of this connection between the Bible and the whole human story is the descriptive consequences of the first human act of rebellion against the Creator. This is recorded in the OT book of Genesis, chapters 3 and 4. The first act of disobedience to God resulted in seven consequences affecting every area of human existence. They included the following:
1. Physiological: death, decay, sickness and suffering
2. Psychological: shame, guilt, fear
3. Sociological: blame shifting, alienation
4. Ecological: ground is cursed, thorns and thistles
5. Spiritual: hiding from God
6. Epistemological: distorted thinking, spiritual blindness (II Cor. 4:3-4)
7. Criminal: Genesis 4—Murder!
Those who go to college chose majors related to one of the seven categories above (e.g. doctors, psychologists, sociologists, environmentalists, ministers, philosophers, law enforcement). All our problems trace back to the biblical narrative of the first act of human rebellion against the Creator.
“Sin in Genesis 3 is like a contagion, transmuting from shame and vulnerability to heightened alienation, even to the point where Yahweh’s own voice is no longer invitation but threat. Cain’s murderous act results in his exile (Gen. 4:1-16); a restless, godless society emerges (Gen. 4:17-24; 5:28-29); global violence leads to global destruction (Gen. 6:1-9:18); sin within Noah’s family leads to the enslavement of one people by another (Gen. 9:17-27); and, finally, the imperialism of conquest leads to the confusion of languages (Gen. 11)” (from, Body, Soul, and Human, Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible, Joel B. Green).
There are seven inclusive truths in Scripture that testify to the extensive sweep of the biblical narrative.
1. God has demonstrated his love for all people (John 3:16).
2. God desires the salvation of all people (I Timothy 2:3-4).
3. God has made provision for the salvation of all people (I John 2:2).
4. God commands all people to repent (Acts 17:30).
5. God will hold all people accountable for their response (Acts 17:31).
6. God takes no pleasure in anyone’s rejection of his provision (Ezekiel 18:23,32).
7. God will save all people who place faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
This is not a time for us to de-emphasize the sweeping claims of the Bible. Instead, this is the message needed most among those who are lost in a postmodern world.