One of the hallmarks of a good storyteller is character development. While one-dimensional, predictable characters can derail a good plot, even a simple story can come alive if inhabited with characters written with depth and complexity.
Many of us have forgotten that one of the best ways to approach the Bible is as a story told by and through the many different characters in redemptive history. In their stories, sometimes we learn deep and profound theological truths, brought to the height of worship; while other times we see glimpses of brutal inhumanity that remind us that these characters are not like those found in other ancient character studies’men and women whose vices are to be avoided or whose virtues are to be emulated.
In the long list of liars and connivers, cheats and ne'er-do-wells, murderers and adulterers, kings and priests, prophets and warriors, we are given a glimpse into the world in which God is at work’a world much like our own. The complex characters of the Bible are as gloriously and frustratingly human as you and me, and through them the Bible's story is given flesh and blood, direction and scope.
This issue of Modern Reformation magazine is unique. We have never published an issue like the one you are looking at. In this issue, we tell the story of God's people through fictionalized, first-person accounts of several important Old Testament characters. From Eve's fateful choice to Daniel's keen hope in the fulfillment of God's promises, we want to retell the story of God's people in their own words.
Our authors for this issue include pastors, theologians, and popular writers. Each of them’with some fear and trembling’agreed to our strange request: inhabit your character, identify a moment or even series of moments that give shape to his or her place in redemptive history, and then show how that character points forward to Jesus, in whose story of obedience and sacrifice all of our individual stories find their conclusion and significance.
With this issue, we kick off an entire year focused on the story of God's people. In this issue, it's the story of ancient Israel as told by Eve, Abraham, Joshua, Solomon, Ahaz, and Daniel. In future issues, we will revisit the story and significance of Jesus: his birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return. Along the way we'll discover, like Israel, how our stories make sense only in his story. So, if this is the first issue of your subscription to Modern Reformation, then hang on’you're in for a wild ride! Make sure you keep your subscription going so you can see how the entire year fits together’ literally! (We'll reveal more about that toward the end of the series.)
As always, thank you for reading and for responding via Facebook and Twitter to Modern Reformation magazine. We're embarking on our twenty-fifth continual year of publishing, and we couldn't do it without the faithful support of friends and readers like you.