A Telling of The Greatest Story
Students create video project of biblical narrative for course
3 min. read
March 26, 2014

What’s the story of the Bible? It is full of individual stories, all connected and inter-related, but how can we tell it as one comprehensive narrative that captures its message and theme? Students in Dr. David Beldman’s Religion 101 class explore these questions, using as a text The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story (Baker Academic, 2004), written by Professor of Religion and Theology Craig Bartholomew and former Redeemer faculty member Mike Goheen. “The Bible boldly claims to tell the true story of the whole of history and all of reality, if only we have the ears to hear and the eyes to see it,” notes Dr. Beldman. “The main purpose of the course is to help students grasp the Bible as a coherent, sprawling narrative, from creation to new creation.” As the major assignment for their course, students have the chance to tell the story on their own. They have the option of representing the story creatively, using methods and media of their own choosing. This year, two students used elements of spoken word poetry and chalk art to create a remarkable video. “The Story of All” was developed by first-year students Angela Krone from Mississauga and Rebecca van Leeuwen of Listowel, ON. The Story of All video: https://youtu.be/vbFVYWS-T_w The students were given some guidelines and are expected to structure their projects around the six ‘acts’ of the Bible that are studied in class. But beyond that, the students can tell the story in original and imaginative ways. “Dr. Beldman encouraged us to ‘use the creative gifts that God has given you’,” says Angela. “Other than that, his main directive was that we be truthful to the story, and keep it clear and simple.” Both students had started working on the assignment individually, but came to realize that their gifts were complimentary. Rebecca worked on the layout and completed a total of 35 drawings for the project. “I like using mind maps and tend to think in very visual ways,” she says. Angela wrote the text that they used and oversaw the video’s production. The use of the crown imagery was intentional. “It’s a common, well-understood theme to both Christians and non-Christians,” says Angela. “It encompasses much of the covenant and Kingdom ideas that we talked about in class and just seemed to tie the project together.” A secondary but no less significant aim of this course is to help students to become more aware of the power of stories. “My hope in this assignment is that the students put their gifts and passions to use in the telling of the story of the Bible,” says Dr. Beldman. “They should allow themselves to be absorbed in their talents and in the biblical story at the same time.” In previous years, students have recorded an album of songs, produced a claymation video, written a book of poetry, made an illustrated children’s story book and created a miniature physical landscape. Both students enjoyed learned much from the class and by putting the video together. “This is such a well-designed course,” says Angela. “It taught me how to see the Bible as one great, comprehensive story of God’s work throughout history.” They were are also surprised at how much attention the story has received. Within 24 hours of it being posted—and shared amongst Redeemer by Dr. Beldman—“The Story of All” had been viewed more than 400 times. “We didn’t want to be the focus; we wanted to create something that was worthy of the story it represented,” notes Rebecca. “It was a lot of work, but it also shows that you never know how God will use something that you do.”

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