Another one of those books I wish I could read but will never find the time to do so is Kevin Vanhoozer's The Drama of Doctrine. This time it was mediated for me not by Books and Culture but via the insightful summary provide by Denis Haack in "Discernment 301: From Story to Drama," from the latest issue of Critique, the magazine of Ransom Fellowship. Haack (who I can read) summarizes Vanhoozer like this:
[I]magine life as being in a play, a full drama unfolding on a stage before a watching world. Think of the canon of the Scriptures as a script, in which we have a part to play. The community of God's people then becomes the company of actors, pastors and elders are unit directors under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and theologians are specialists that help us make proper sense of the script.
Hacck notes the freedom in the script, how the actors, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, can improvise, going beyond the script (which is not fully fleshed out) but never against it. In this drama, "faithfulness means being so steeped in God's word that our responses are shaped by its truth even when applied to situations not specifically addressed in any text in the Bible." As we live coram deo, we settle more deeply into the script, more fully into our part, until by God's grace we are so immersed in the role that we become the character. We become ourselves. We become who we were meant to be.
I love the idea of life as a play ever since I first picked this up from Frederick Buechner's Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy & Fairy Tale. This play is epic: tragically marred by sin, wondrously redeemed by the comedy of grace, and full of the almost too good to believe fairy tale of hope --- that all will turn out all right in the end.
Excuse me while I learn my lines. I have a long way to go.