‘God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible’, by Vaughan Roberts. Published by Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, UK. New edition. First published in 2009. ISBN 9781844743704 (paperback); 9781844747153 (Kindle version). 176 pages.
If I had to recommend just one brief overview of the Bible, this would be it. In this book, Vaughan Roberts paints the big picture of the Bible, and he does so clearly and simply. He takes us through the Bible using the theme of the Kingdom of God – defined as ‘God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule and blessing’.
Using this theme, Vaughan provides a simple and memorable framework for the Bible story:
(1) The pattern of the kingdom (Creation and the Garden of Eden)
(2) The perished kingdom (the fall)
(3) The promised kingdom (God’s covenant with Abraham)
(4) The partial kingdom (the period of the patriarchs to the Exile)
(5) The prophesied kingdom (the Old Testament prophets and the return from Exile)
(6) The present kingdom (Jesus life, death, resurrection and ascension)
(7) The proclaimed kingdom (the Acts of the Apostles through the whole Church age)
(8) The perfected kingdom (the Book of Revelation and the new heaven and earth).
‘God’s Big Picture’ is very suitable for newer believers and also young people. But more seasoned believers will doubtless find Vaughan’s deft and simple handling of the Bible story helpful, too.
Bible passages for reading and questions for discussion accompany each of the eight chapters. This makes ‘God’s Big Picture’ ideal for small group discussion. And the fact that it covers the entire Bible in just eight lessons makes it tailor-made for new believers’ discipleship groups. It would be ideal as a follow-up to an Alpha Course or a Christianity Explored course.
View the publisher’s description page HERE.
Vaughan Roberts is Rector of St Ebb’s Church, Oxford, England. He is also a founder member of 9:38, which encourages Christians to consider full-time gospel ministry, and is on the leadership team of The Proclamation Trust.