12th Week PhD: Stories and Shalom

This week in the Advanced Worldview course, we were asked to discuss two questions:  “Why is the concept of narrative important to a Christian worldview?” and “What are practical ways we can communicate hope in our professional environment?”

Narrative is the bread and butter of Christianity. The Bible is a narrative of creation, sin, redemption, and eternity. Jesus was a master storyteller, using parables to send powerful messages about how we are to act and treat one another (Parable of the Prodigal Son and the parable of the Good Samaritan). The Ethiopian eunuch listened to Philip tell the good news of Jesus and immediately believed and was baptized (Acts 8:26-40). Peter told the crowd in Jerusalem about the redemption story and “three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:41, New International Version). Narrative paints pictures when mere words are not enough.

Shalom, according to Plantinga (2002) “means far more than just peace of mind,” since in the Bible it means “universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight” (p. 15). Delight as a definition of shalom is powerful. Plantinga (2002) entitles one section “Hoping for Shalom” in reference the Holy Spirit’s influence to use Jesus as hope for all mankind (p. 12). Hope only for ourselves is selfish. When we hope for others, we are “enlarged by the Holy Spirit” (Plantinga, 2002, p. 12). When we hope for shalom, we are hoping for a brighter future for others, not only ourselves. We are hoping for shalom as Jesus did for us on the cross.

Blessings to you and yours.


About Melissa D Atkinson

Online Learning Library at ACU Brown Library. Librarian for 20+ years at ACU. Ph.D. in 2019 (Concentration - Distance Education/Ed Tech/Online Learning).

Posted on August 28, 2014, in Christian Education, Doctoral, Hope, Jesus Christ, Narrative, PhD, Shalom, Stories, Worldview. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on 12th Week PhD: Stories and Shalom.

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