God told a Story through stories set in the real, messy, broken, ambiguous and plural world, involving communities in process in actual historical contexts. And this matters. Instead of being able to tick off a bunch of statements of belief, we are required to work out what's true and what matters by engaging with the Story and stories, with the help of the Holy Spirit and in conversation with each other. There's a beginning and end to this Story that provide its trajectory. There's the hero and central character, Christ, that provides it's focus. There is a vitally important turning point, the Cross, that provides it essential message. And there are Big Themes or principles that provide its parameters and constants as we seek to work out the Story's significance and meaning for us now. Because, of course, we are also invited to be part of the continuation of this Story as we move towards its final chapter, the restoration of all things, to everything made new.
Reading Scripture this way, especially when moving from Scripture to our beliefs, is not simple and straightforward. But it helps us avoid dogmatism and straining at exegetical gnats as I mention here. Engaging in the stories and Story in this way encourages reflection, conversation, openness, diversity, provisonality in many beliefs, ongoing reflection and reform, willingness to explore and change etc. And it's just much more exciting!