What's Your Dominant Narrative?

Everything else is determined by this.

“A ‘dominant narrative’ is a set of stories that dominate a culture and to a large extent define reality for its members.” So Ernest Dempsey defines an important social and cultural idea, one not well understood or even recognized by many in the Christian community (Philosophy Now, July 14, 2015). 

The dominant narrative of our society is secular, material, and individualist, and this is true for perhaps the large majority of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. As a community, Christians do not possess a counter-narrative “that claims that reality is different, or even quite the opposite, to what the dominant narrative claims it to be.”

As is clear from our captivity to the getting-and-spending-all-about-me lifestyle of our secular and narcissistic age, ideas like “the Kingdom of God” or the “unseen things” of Christ and the Spirit are just that, ideas, and not working realities, not stories within which we live and unfold the plot lines of our lives.

Mr. Dempsey explains, “It is never easy to step outside your own world’s narrative and see it from the outside.” But Christians must not use this as an excuse for failing, by every means and medium, to get our story together, own it, live it, tell it, and refuse to back down from it, come what may.


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