“Where is there a hope large enough truly to overcome death? Where is there hope sufficiently encompassing to enable us to know that all our pain and suffering has not been in vain? How do we bring together the contrary oracles (raised in Ecclesiastes) concerning both the vanity of everything and the eternity that God has placed in our hearts?”
“Human beings need to orient their lives by means of some sort of comprehensive perspective that helps them comprehend life’s particulars. Our profound yearning can be met only by a spacious narrative, personal enough to help us find our particular place in it and enduring enough to make that place significant.”
“The Biblical chronicle of the Triune God is the perfect narrative to empower us to envision the meaning of our lives. The Scriptures enable us to discern our most profound longings expressed or not, to name who human beings are and what we want to do, to fathom even more clearly who God is, and to perceive how all these things connect. It is a meta-narrative large enough, thorough enough, and promising enough to give us the hope we need to live courageously in the midst of an unbalanced, technologically driven, co-modification-distorted world.”
“The Bible offers a grandly sweeping meta-narrative. That is one of the thrills of reading Scriptures, for they paint an account of God’s action on our behalf from the beginning of the world to the culmination of God’s purposes in the recapitulation of the cosmos.” (Marva J. Dawn, Unfettered Hope: A Call to Faithful Living in an affluent Society)
Four events define the Christian worldview like four pillars of life. They encompass all of reality and provide hope for the future. Each pillar in the Biblical account addresses a specific reality of the world and a specific question in our hearts. This way of understanding the world offers the most comprehensive and satisfying account for life as experienced in this world.
1. Creation: the good – Where did we come from?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:1.26-27,31, NIV).
2. Fall: the evil — What went wrong?
To Adam God said, “Because you …ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV). “When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” “… people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT). (Genesis 3:17,19; Romans 5:12; Genesis 8:21; Romans 6:23)
3. Redemption: the new — Is change possible?
“There is no other God but me–a just God and a Savior–no, not one! Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” (NLT). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ …19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. ….21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:19-21, NIV).
4. Restoration: the perfect — Is there hope?
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:1-5, NIV, see also: II Corinthians 4:16-18; Romans 8:18,35-39).