If you don’t own a copy of this then grab a copy now.  The hardback is on sale for $10 and the Kindle version is $2.  This is a fantastic resource for both your children and adults alike.  It does a fantastic job of showing how the whole of Scripture points to Jesus, even taking something as complex as Isaiah and making its message about Christ easy enough for small children to grasp.  I greatly appreciate that the hermeneutic here is not based upon a few scattered proof texts here and there but an understanding of how the various narratives, themes, and persons in Scripture all anticipate the coming Messiah.

Around 2005 I had several friends suggest that I read Graeme Goldsworthy’s According to Plan; this volume opened my mind to the world of biblical theology and I quickly began devouring any and every work on the subject I could get my hands on.  I cannot comprehend how this continues to shape the course of my life.  I do know that I soon began to grow frustrated with the disconnect I saw between popular evangelism methods and what I was learning as I studied biblical theology.  I still remember the excitement as I read through D. A. Carson’s massive volume The Gagging of God and finally heard a credible source say what I had suspected for some time.  Carson writes, “the good news of Jesus Christ is virtually incoherent unless it is securely set into a biblical worldview.”  Now one can do this atemporally, as seen in the topical framework of systematic theology, or one can do this temporally, as in the narrative framework of biblical theology.  Continuing, he explains that the benefit of a biblical theological approach, over a systematic one, is that “establish[ing] such a framework while simultaneously tracing out the rudiments of the Bible’s plot-line strikes me as wiser, more strategic.  One is simultaneously setting forth a structure of thought, and a meta-narrative; one is constructing a worldview, and showing how that worldview is grounded in the Bible itself.  One is teaching people how to read the Bible.  For these reasons, evangelism might wisely become, increasingly, a subset of biblical theology.”[1]

Carson published those words in 1996 and then in 2010 Carson published The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story.  If you want an introduction to the Bible, to biblical theology, a better grasp on the biblical narrative, or an explanation of how to simply share the gospel as a narrative this is the book for you.  The best part is it is amazingly simple; in the preface he writes, “by and large I have assumed very little prior acquaintance with the Bible.”[2]  If you don’t enjoy reading the head over the The Gospel Coalition website where you can download or stream the audio or video from a presentation of the material from this book that Carson did Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.  Those sermons are also available as a DVD series if you want a physical copy.


[1]D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 507.

[2]D. A. Carson, The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010), 9.

The Resurgence has a brief post that looks at seeing the gospel in all of Scripture that is very appropriate considering all that we have seen thus far and the future direction of our study through The Mission of God’s People. So if you have a couple minutes go checkout “Let’s Talk All about the Gospel.”

If there is one thing that I think the church desperately needs it is biblical theology. Not biblical in the since that it is correct, although this is necessary, but biblical theology in the sense that its aim is to understand the grand narrative or metanarrative of Scripture. Most of us are familiar with systematic theology, the organization of biblical teaching around various themes and questions i.e. “Sin” or “What is God’s character?” However, I am convinced that the church is lacking an overarching understanding of what Scripture says. Thankfully Michael Lawrence has recently published Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church and 9Marks has posted a fantastic interview with Michael Lawrence, Mark Dever, Tom Schreiner, and Jonathan Leeman concerning this book. You can listen to the interview below or click here to visit the 9Marks interview page.


Dever, Mark. What Does God Want of Us, Anyway? A Quick Overview of the Whole Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2010. 128pp. $12.99.

Summary

This is less of a book review and more of a commendation. This volume is a synopsis of Dever’s larger works The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made and The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept which. In 1996 Dever began a series of sermons over viewing every book of Scripture and this book is the distillation of that massive task into an easily accessible form. During our Metanarrative study at convergence I read through Dever’s Promises Made and Promises Kept and found them to be very helpful especially for grasping the overall flow and message of individual books of Scripture. For this reason I commend Dever’s work to you as it will help you gain an understanding of Scriptures’ grand narrative in an enjoyable and informative way. 9Marks is kind enough to make the entirety of this volumes text available online so go ahead and read the first chapter and then buy a copy for yourself.