Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Dr. Phil Newell
"Fire, Water, and Wind: God’s Transformational Narrative" explores factors in forming a healthy sense of personal identity. The impetus for this dissertation is the observation that people in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada and the surrounding area, are searching for meaning and identity. They are dissatisfied with their current situations and many are actively seeking escape from their current life experiences. This is evidenced by the number of people participating in high-risk behaviors and activities such as drug or alcohol abuse, gambling, engaging and soliciting prostitution, pornography, multiple sex partners, unprotected sexual encounters, smoking, or violent crimes, and far too many people who believe that taking their lives is their final escape. Does it have to be this way? I propose that the biblical narrative's understanding of one's identity and the ongoing formation of that identity enables one to face the varied challenges of life, a way of transformation (resurrection) even in the most hopeless situations. The first half of the dissertation includes the written statement establishing the scholarly basis for the Artifact component of the dissertation, which will produce a nonfiction book. The Artifact begins by looking at story and the biblical narrative in the context of identity formation. Chapters three and four seek to encourage the nurturing of an imagination shaped by scripture and unconscious, as it plays a significant role in one's identity formation. Chapter five presents psychological and neurological understanding of the function of story in personal identity formation. Chapter six examines the role of signs, symbols, and metaphors in narrative identity formation. The research leads me to conclude that a narrative understanding of identity and ongoing formation as a follower of Jesus encourages one's life wholly alive, offering a holistic understanding that incorporates an integration of heart and mind, body, and soul, enabling one to answer the question, 'What am I here for?'
Haukenfrers, Norbert, "Fire, Water and Wind: God's Transformational Narrative" (2014). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 76.