Did you know that the Bible isn’t a random assortment of 66 loosely connected books squashed together over a couple thousand years? There is a unity to it, and distinct threads that connect it as the revelation of God’s grand redemptive narrative. A very good book that I recently re-read unfolds the story of the Bible for those who desire to get a handle on the big picture of God’s story.
It’s called According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy.
A quick glance at a book like this may lead to you think “Not for me, I’ll leave this to the pastors and theologians.” But this book is actually written not simply for those who are interested in academic study, but specifically for Christians who want to grow in their knowledge of God’s story. It is a very practical and readable text, with clear outlines and reviews at the end of each chapter. It’s made for the Christian who doesn’t want to get lost in the forest of academia that can surround a subject like Biblical Theology.
Chapter 2 begins like this:
“The Bible speaks of us as knowing God and as being known by God. Both of these important facts are part of the theology that each of us builds up during the whole of our lives as Christians. Have you ever heard a person say (particularly in the middle of a discussion about the Bible), “I’m no theologian, but…” My answer to that is, “Yes you are! All Christians are theologians, but some are more able theologians than others.” Every Christian by definition knows God, thinks about God and makes statements about God. So, you are a theologian. Part of being a Christian is that we do theology. That is, we put together different aspects of what we understand about God, and we build it into some kind of coherent understanding of our existence as God’s redeemed people living in the world.”
Goldsworthy goes on to say,
“There are a number of different ways we can do theology, and in this book I want to examine one of these ways with a view to helping ordinary Christians to become more able theologians and, as a result, to become more faithful servants of Christ and his kingdom.”
I read this book many years ago, in either college or seminary. I honestly can’t remember when it was that I read it, but I know that I did, because as I thumbed through it a few months ago it was highlighted throughout. So this time I underlined. Needless to say, the book is now quite marked up and I will continue to use it as a resource on the subject of Biblical Theology. I would encourage you to check it out. It’s readable, with short chapters and a clear progression through the entire text of Scripture.