God's Big Picture

Ever had trouble fitting the bits of the Bible story together? Ever tried to grasp the flow of the story from Genesis to Revelation? Some churches do a Bible overview that is especially helpful for new Christians. Praise the Lord there are churches getting new Christians regularly.

Here is a book to help old and new Christians make sense of the whole Bible story and see where things fit together. Seeing the whole story helps us see the significance of the little stories or the smaller characters.

Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford has written well under the general theme of God’s Kingdom. He admits his debt to others with the linking themes of God’s people, God’s place, under God’s rule and blessing.

The chapter headings suffer a little from alliteration but are good headings to learn as the markers in the Big Story: The Pattern of the Kingdom, The Perished Kingdom, The Promised Kingdom, The Partial Kingdom, The Prophesied kingdom, The Present Kingdom, The Proclaimed kingdom and the Perfected Kingdom. The clear presentation with good illustrations is helped by good diagrams. There are also helpful boxes on themes like ‘Achievement of the cross’, ‘Psalms’ ‘Judgment’ etc.

Inevitably there is some simplification, but often we need to get this big picture to help us grasp the grand sweep of God’s purposes. There are ideas for Bible Studies at the end of each chapter. Without a good leader these might not be so helpful and using the Kingdom of God as his key theme in some measure stops us seeing God at work in the world at large and often surprising us.

It could be good to get a group reading the book in Lent and then meeting together to do the Bible Studies.