A Storied God, A Storied People: A Strategy for the Local Church to Practice the Narrative Nature of Scripture by Adhesion to a Particular Story

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2023

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This thesis aims to develop a narrative strategy for the local church parish, drawing on postliberal and narrative theologies. It argues that the narrative nature of the incarnation is not only descriptive of God's movement into the world but also prescriptive for the movement of God's people within the world. To begin to develop this claim, the thesis examines denominational and consultant practitioners' approaches and proposes a practical strategy for carrying out a narrative movement in a contextualized seing.The thesis centers around the biblical feature that Jesus is from Nazareth, with a particular in-depth look at his time spent in the Nazarene synagogue in Luke 4:14-30. Building on Samuel Wells' A Nazareth Manifesto, the thesis argues that contextualized story should be more formative and shaping than the corporatized phenomena of mission statements and core values, following the pattern of the narrative nature found within Scripture. To test the proposed strategy's effectiveness, the thesis includes an on-the-ground experiment within the North Street Community Church of the Nazarene, spanning about two years. The experiment seeks to see if the strategy results in narrative formation of both the individuals within the church and the church itself. Finally, the thesis concludes with a project for congregational use that builds upon the experiment's results. The project proposes a practical application of the narrative strategy, incorporating both what was learned during the experiment and adaptations of strategies found elsewhere.

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Scott, Jeremy David (2023). A Storied God, A Storied People: A Strategy for the Local Church to Practice the Narrative Nature of Scripture by Adhesion to a Particular Story. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27559.

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