This book has been written by Vaughan Roberts who is a founder member of 9:38 and is on the leadership team of the Proclamation Trust.
I had always struggled with thoughts that the Old Testament is outdated and irrelevant to a 21st Century Christian. I thought that there is no need to read the Old Testament and even if I was reading I would only choose passages that looked appealing and leave the rest. Even when trying to understand I could see myself in those passages, for example in 1 Samuel 17 I could easily see myself as the David in the passage! By doing this I was wrong in at least three ways: a) I missed the big point the passage is talking about, b) I totally missed out the author’s intended purpose – why that passage is included in the Bible and c) I failed to see where I am in the Bible’s story line and how that part contributes to the main story of the Bible. I have learnt this from God’s Big Picture which has come in handy in enhancing my understanding of the Bible. As the title suggests God’s Big Picture is a book that helps readers to trace the story line of the Bible.
The author says ‘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 different parts fit together.’ He aims to help us find our way around the Bible and to see how various parts of the Bible hold together and point us to Jesus. This was helpful for me first to learn that the Bible is fundamentally one book and this completely changed how I read the Bible – reading it as a whole and not just sections independently. Whenever I open to read I should be able to know where I stand in the story line of the Bible – what has come before and where I am going. Secondly this helped me to appreciate the fact that the Bible is not about me – I am not the David! Ultimately the Bible is one book, written by one ultimate Author – God, with one theme Jesus Christ and the salvation God accomplishes through him.
The format of the book is easy as the author has divided the book into eight sections which are easy to remember and shows God’s unfolding plan to restore His kingdom. I love the way Vaughan brings out his arguments. The flow of thoughts is amazing with good connectivity from one chapter to the other without losing focus of his main purpose. At the end of every chapter there’s a relevant Bible study useful to help one grasp what they have learnt in the chapter.
This book will not make you an expert in all the details of Scripture but it helps readers to see the big picture of the Bible. It has helped me to get the gospel right by reading the Bible in context – not seeing myself in Scriptures but seeing Jesus Christ, not possessing Old Testament blessings and promises rather seeing the One who the promises point to and who fulfills them. This has also helped me in my teaching of the Bible to the youth.
For every Christian to correctly handle the Word of God – reading it correctly, rightly applying it and teaching it to others correctly – we need to know that the Bible is a story about God’s plan of Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ and be able to know how various parts point to this. I recommend this book to every Christian to understand God’s word and His plan of redemption.
This book review has been written by Kevin Moses. Kevin a January apprentice , was based in Deliverance Church, Mombasa and served with the young people as well as other duties in the church. He is now doing his 2nd year placed at Grace Baptist, Machakos.
iServe Africa is an indigenous Kenyan gospel-driven organisation that exists to promote faithful Bible teaching and servant leadership.