The Magnificent (Not Shrunken) Story

    Sep 7, 2021 | by Tom Harrison

    Author, pastor, and professor, Dr. Jim Smith got us started on this six-week study of “The Magnificent Story” as he described two “shrunken gospel” presentations he encountered in his faith journey. One story was from Jim’s pastor in a United Methodist Church in Colorado who did not believe in the authority of Scripture, that Jesus is the Son of God, or that He was resurrected. This pastor saw the Church only as a place to work for social justice issues. Jesus was unnecessary. The second story was from a campus ministry that believed the traditional doctrines of the faith but started with bad news (“you are a horrible sinner”) instead of the good news of Genesis 1-2 (God is good, and we are made in His image). While both have elements of truth, neither of these narratives are beautiful and good stories.

    Jim explained the transcendentals of beauty, goodness and truth like this: That which is beautiful makes us say “Wow.” That which is good makes us say, “Thank you.” And that which is true makes us say, “Yes.” We respond to the magnificent story of God’s kingdom with wow, thank you, and yes.  

    Our readings this week are retroactive to this past Sunday’s sermon on “The Magnificent (not shrunken) Story.” Follow along in your sermon journal. I hope you are in a small group where you can discuss. Mine met this morning for the first time.

    Sunday: 1 Corinthians 13
    Monday: Isaiah 9:2-9
    Tuesday: John 3:1-21
    Wednesday: John 4:7-42
    Thursday: Acts 9:1-22
    Friday: Acts 10:34-44
    Saturday: Romans 8:26-30  

    This Sunday’s message, “The Trinity and Beauty” will come from chapters 3-4 of  “The Magnificent Story.” Those readings will follow Sunday’s message.

    See you then,


    Tom Harrison
    Senior Pastor

    P.S. Please remember to attend this Saturday to honor the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 by serving with 2nd Saturday at Gatesway Foundation. Register at asburytulsa.org/rsvp911 

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