Upper Story/Lower Story

The Story is a condensed chronological Bible, and in our church-wide journey through it we’re going to discover how our story fits into God’s story. 

We’ve been talking about this Upper Story and Lower Story a lot. Check this out and I hope it helps you understand the nature of the Bible better.

“The Bible contains an Upper Story and a Lower Story. The Upper Story tells the big picture, the grand narrative of God unfolding throughout history. The Lower Story contains the sometimes delightful, other times appalling particulars of human experience. Without the lens of the Upper Story, the Lower Story seems out of focus and perplexing. As we make our way through the Bible- The Story- we will be mindful of both the temporal, easily-seen events, and the not so obvious yet truly eternal realities. In the opening chapters of Genesis, the two stories are virtually one. God, who is love, creates the universe, and palaces humanity at the crown of all he brings into existence. Man and woman, as individuals and also in their collective, reflect God’s image. People are both the objects of God’s love and lovers in return.

But when the first man and woman choose to reject rather than respond, the Upper Story transitions to God’s relentless pursuit and restoration of what was lost. That Upper Story never changes even to the last chapter of the Bible. The details in the Lower Story describe the many ways people mostly- with a few notable exceptions- resist God, and wreak havoc with themselves and each other. In trying to be God, people ruin what God has made, and pass that curse to their offspring. In one dramatic episode, God decides to start over by destroying all life through a flood except for eight people: Noah and his family. In the Lower Story, those few given that second chance fail miserably to build the new world God envisioned, and evil continues to hold sway. But in the Upper Story, God makes the promise that he won’t ever flood the earth, thus teaching every generation that he is intent on redeeming what’s broken, not destroying it.

One feature of biblically-literate people is they tend to focus more and more on the Upper Story and live in that realm; that knowledge rightly colors how they approach and apply any part of the Bible. It is knowledge of that Upper Story that gets us through the hard times in life, more so than through the Lower Story information…”

Adapted, by Judson Poling, Willow Creek Church



About aaroncross

these are some of my adventures in following Jesus, loving my wife, raising my boys, and serving a church
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