God's Big Picture

God's Big Picture

Paperback Tracing the storyline of the Bible Vaughan Roberts

The Bible: many books, one book. God's Big Picture adopts the kingdom of God as a unifying theme and examines it under the headings: perished, promised, partial, prophesied, present, proclaimed and perfected. A book which simplifies and makes total sense of a complicated subject.

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Publisher's Description

Sixty-six books, forty authors, written over nearly 2,000 years, in many different genres. A worldwide best-seller published in countless translations and languages. A book that has been sworn by in court, fought over, and quoted in arguments. Clearly, the Bible is no ordinary book.

So how can we begin to read and understand the Bible as a whole?

In this excellent overview, Vaughan Roberts paints the big picture, showing how the different parts of the Bible fit together under the theme of the kingdom of God. He offers us tools to read it with confidence, enthusiasm and understanding. Vaughan points us to the Bible's supreme subject, Jesus Christ, and the salvation God offers through him.

Bibliographic Details

ISBN: 9781844743704
Format: Paperback
Extent: 176 pages
Publication Date: 20/03/2009
Published by: IVP

Extract

Contents

Preface

Introduction

The Bible is one book

The kingdom of God

1. The pattern of the kingdom

Bible study: Genesis 1:1 – 2:25 35

2. The perished kingdom

Bible study: Genesis 3

3. The promised kingdom

Bible study: Genesis 17:1–8; Galatians 3:6–14 57

4. The partial kingdom

God’s people: Genesis 12 – Exodus 18 60

God’s rule and blessing

Bible study: Exodus 19:1–13; 20:1–17

God’s place

God’s king

Bible study: 2 Samuel 7:1–17

5. The prophesied kingdom

Bible study: Hosea 1 – 3

6. The present kingdom

Bible study: Luke 1:39–80; 2:25–32

7. The proclaimed kingdom

Bible study: 2 Corinthians 4

8. The perfected kingdom

Bible study: Revelation 21:1–8; 21:22 – 22:5

Epilogue

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Preface

‘Which passages would you choose if you were devising a series of Bible studies on the theme of the temple?’

It was an innocent question from a young man I had just met at a conference for trainee ministers. I was about to start at college. Within two years I would be let loose on a church, and I was far from ready. I had been a committed Christian for six years, but my knowledge of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, was very limited – which explains why my new friend’s question unnerved me so much. I had heard of the temple, but I did not really know what its significance was, and had no idea where to look in the Bible to find out more; so I stalled: ‘Which passages would you choose?’

In the next ten minutes I was taken on a whistle-stop tour of the whole Bible that left my head reeling. We began in the garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve did not need a temple because God’s presence was everywhere; and travelled to the new creation, heaven, where once again there is no temple ‘because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple’ (Revelation 21:22). Along the way we made brief stops at the tabernacle in the wilderness; the temple in Jerusalem; the new-temple prophecies of Ezekiel; the Lord Jesus Christ, who ‘tabernacled’ among us (John 1:14, literally); and the church (‘a holy temple in the Lord’, Ephesians 2:21).

I was very impressed. I had already completed a theology degree at university, but it left me unable to find my way around the Bible. There had been detailed analysis of individual books and passages, but no-one had shown me how they fitted together. My friend, however, was able to travel through the Bible with apparent ease. It was as if he was using a map while I was left without any sense of direction. I asked him how he did it. He told me about a book that outlined the main elements in the story of the Bible from beginning to end. It was Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel and Kingdom. I bought it the next day and read it within the week. At last I had the map I needed. I was still very ignorant about much of the Bible, but the framework was in place.

Anyone who has read ‘Gospel and Kingdom’ will see its influence in these pages. This is not an attempt to improve on that book. I adopt largely the same approach, but hope to do so in a slightly less technical way. My aim is to provide all Christians, from the new convert to the mature believer, with an overview of the whole Bible that will help them see how the different parts fit together. I hope the book will be simple without being simplistic. I want to put into the reader’s hands the map that I have found so helpful.

A Bible study outline is provided at the end of each chapter (and an extra one in the long chapter 4). These are designed for individual or group use. You will gain more from these studies if you, or the members of your group, read the chapter (or the relevant half of chapter 4) in advance.

I am grateful to Richard Coekin, who first set me on the road, and to Graeme Goldsworthy, whose book gave me the map. ….

Vaughan Roberts

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