In the beginning, an empty space. A word breaks the silence, bespeaks a universe; the world dawns. More words; nondescript space acquires shape, becomes a place for forms emerging from the dust. The stage is set. Action!Thus begins, The Drama of Doctrine.
To be or not to be is not the question, nor our choice. We are "thrown into existence" . . . We simply find ourselves in a world. We are here, onstage, with many others. . . . We have mapped the galaxy, but we are still trying to get our bearings. We have mapped the human genome, but we are still trying to determine what we are. We need guidance as we seek to play our parts, prompting as we grope for our next lines.
In a recent interview, Vanhoozer defends his use of the drama metaphor in his theology:
The driving force of Christian theology is the God of the gospel. The subject matter of theology is intrinsically dramatic: God in his missionary movements (viz., Son and Spirit). It's a matter of God saying and God doing the good for the world in Jesus Christ. Christianity is neither a system of ideas nor of morality but a way, a way of life. Life is something to be done, and so is drama. I had not intended to plumb the model of drama so deeply, but I did so because the more I did so the more the approach yielded understanding. My research affected me on a personal level:
I came to see myself as an actor with a script, called to act (or improvise) in a new situation. Everyday life became infused with urgency as I tried to speak and act in ways that fit the holy script and glorified God in new contexts.