Narrative: A Two-Story House

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God's <abbr>EPIC</abbr> AdventureFee and Stuart present a metaphor of a three-story house. I have modified it to a two-story metaphor with a foundation/substratum (does that make me a foundationalist?). What Fee and Stuart call the first floor; I call the house foundation or substratum.

Think of Old Testament narratives as a two-story (no pun intended) building. The house has a foundation that is the big picture of God’s acts in his world’s creation, the fall and its effects, sin and its power, redemption, and the coming of the Kingdom in Jesus. This foundation is the overall Story of God’s salvation history of humankind. The first floor centers on Israel—the Old Testament people of God. Its Story begins in Genesis 11.27 with the call of Abraham. It continues with the promise to Abraham to give him a land and a people and the rise of a nation beginning with the Exodus; the giving of the covenant and the working out of that covenant in the life of Israel; the rise of the United Kingdom and the Divided Kingdom and their restoration after the exile. The second floor contains several hundred individual narratives. Each narrative on this floor goes to make up the whole of the narrative of the first floor, Israel’s history, and, finally, the foundation narrative, God’s EPIC Adventure.Two Story House[ref]Fee and Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 91-92.[/ref]

We spend most of our time reading the stories on the second floor. To really grasp their intentional meaning, we must give due attention to the first-floor story and the substratum of the house.

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Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)