The Bible is filled with carefully told stories that are designed to reach from their pages into our lives. They reach out to entertain us. They cause us to laugh or make us cry. But most importantly, the stories in the Bible shape our thinking and our faith.
This book honors the role of God as storyteller and explores how God’s inspired authors carefully select and present an event so as to instill it with meaning. In order to deepen our appreciation of the storyteller’s craft, this book surveys the traditional categories of narrative criticism to see how the design of scene, plot, characterization, narration, time, and wordplay shape the story we read. But the reader will also find a considerable portion of this book devoted to a new form of narrative analysis—narrative geography.
Since the stories of the Bible are filled not only with people but also with place, we note how the storyteller may strategically use, reuse, and nuance geography as part of the storytelling process. As we come to a fuller appreciation of how the events of the Bible become its stories, we will have set the stage for a discussion of the reader’s craft, seeking meaning in such stories.
In the end, the reader will be rewarded with a new and exciting way of reading God’s stories that appreciates not only their composition but also their meaning.
“Anyone who hopes to address poverty and help children should read this book. Child advocates, congregational ministers, policymakers, educators and students, evangelists and pastoral caregivers, ethicists and theologians of all kinds—all will find here a brilliant interweaving of stories, data, biography, and theology by a practical theologian who draws creatively on years of experience and study in dogged pursuit of abundant life for all children.” — Bonnie J. Miller McLemore, The Divinity School, Vanderbilt University