Relating to the Biblical Metanarrative
An Investigation of How Young Christians in a West African City Understand and Relate to the Biblical Metanarrative
Author: Jenny Coulibaly (2020)

MA dissertation: Contemporary Missiology, Redcliffe College.

It has been a great privilege to get a glimpse into how the participants understand and relate to God’s Word and my prayer is that they will continue to grow in their understanding of it and that they and other young Christians in this city will increasingly understand and live out the role God has given them to play in his mission.


The aim of this dissertation was to investigate firstly, how young evangelical Christians in a particular West African city understand the biblical metanarrative, including how well they know the storyline and what they think it is about, and secondly, how they relate to it, including how they apply it to their lives and whether they see themselves as participants in or observers of the narrative.

Focus groups were carried out with young people aged 18-30 in five churches and follow up interviews were conducted with their pastors.

The research concludes that firstly, the young people knew the basic framework of the biblical narrative, being particularly familiar with the stories of Genesis, Exodus, the Gospels and Acts, but had large gaps in their knowledge of it, especially the latter part of the Old Testament. Secondly, they identified salvation or reconciliation with God as the main theme of this narrative. Thirdly, their applications of it tended to focus on obedience to God, taking biblical characters as role models for how they should live in their relationship to God and to others. Most did not make missional applications. Finally, they see themselves as participants in the biblical narrative primarily as recipients of God’s salvation, promises and blessing. Although some are involved in evangelistic outreach, most do not connect this to their role in the biblical narrative.

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Relating to the Biblical Metanarrative (Jenny Coulibaly, 2020)

[Picture above by Helge Fahrnberger, CC BY-SA 3.0]
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