Kevin Vanhoozer’s book The Drama of Doctrine has been on my list for years and after finishing it, I wish I would have read it sooner. Vanhoozer has noticed that doctrine has fallen on hard times in the Christian church and part of his goal is to reclaim the importance of doctrine. Part of the reason Christians ignore doctrine is that it appears irrelevant. Vanhoozer’s task is to reclaim doctrine by connecting it to the daily life of individuals and the church as a whole.
He does this by emphasizing the great drama of God acting in the world from creation on into Christ and the church. There are echoes of NT Wright here (Though perhaps Wright echoed Vanhoozer? I’d have to check the publication dates) as we see ourselves living in the midst of this continuing drama. With the future consummation still to come, we live in the same Act of the drama as the one the early Christians lived in.
Christians then are actors in the great drama. Vanhoozer takes us through it, using lots of terminology from theater. God the Father is the author while the Spirit acts as the director. He introduces us, at least me, to the role of the dramaturge. One thing I most appreciated, and found incredibly helpful, was how he related scripture to the church community and tradition. Overall this book is challenging, but worth every minute of it. I think any and every pastor would benefit from working through this book. Churches would benefit from leaders who see doctrine in this way. It is a must read.