Script, Score, or Steak? Engaging Global Evangelicals with More Accessible Models for Scripture

In this paper, I argue that theological models employed by evangelicals in the West tend to alienate global evangelicals by skewing the conversation toward only Western interests, and a clear example of this phenomenon lies in the use of performance models to describe Scripture. I survey two such models-Kevin Vanhoozer’s “Scripture as Theatrical Script” and Anthony Thiselton’s “Scripture as Musical Score”-and evaluate them based on their faithfulness to Scripture and fittingness to the church’s current context, thus showing how such models, though somewhat helpful, still inadvertently estrange non-Western evangelicals by relying on less accessible metaphors that can easily confuse rather than clarify.

I then propose a biblically derived model of “Scripture as Food” as an example of a more accessible model that offers hope for more universality, unity, and engagement between Western and global evangelicals. Developing this model from Scripture and historical theology – specifically, the works of Athanasius, Origen, Gregory the Great, Eugene Peterson, Norman Wirzba, and John Feinberg – I demonstrate that more accessible models like food can help unite evangelicals on a global scale by imbuing theological conversation with a greater sense of reality, universality, and vitality.

My research interacts with Vanhoozer’s The Drama of Doctrine, Anthony Thiselton’s “Knowledge, Myth, and Corporate Memory,” Origen’s Philocalia, Athanasius’s “Letter 7, Easter 335,” Gregory the Great’s Moralia in Job, Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book, Norman Wirzba’s Food and Faith, and John Feinberg’s Light in a Dark Place.