Three Acts

Posted on September 9, 2009 by

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stock_market_01The traditional three-act epic (think Star Wars or Lord of the Rings) starts with the good guys receiving a quest (act 1). Then the bad guys almost stop the good guys from completing their quest (act 2), and finally the good guys triumph over the bad guys (act 3).

In church we get the three-act epic as premortal-mortal-postmortal life, or sometimes it’s phrased in terms of creation-fall-atonement.

The three acts that are the most important to my life now are the wilderness, city, and garden acts. In the first act, things are simple but difficult (the wilderness). In the second act, things are complicated but convenient (the city). The third act is our attempt to take the best of both the wilderness and the city to create something new and beautiful.

At the family reunion, Jade and I were talking about our experiences with the church. Jade said, “Sometimes I miss being in church, but I don’t want to go back to the way things were.” I sympathize, and I think that’s really insightful. She and I had similar church experiences growing up. It was hard having guilt and obligation as the primary motivating forces in life, and I don’t want to go back to that either. But I do want to keep the beautiful parts. That’s why I try to build the green hill.

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Posted in: Church, Green Hill