Vaughan Roberts is the rector of St Ebbe’s Oxford. He is a founder member of 9:38 which encourages Christians to consider full-time gospel ministry. He is also on the leadership team of The Proclaim Trust.
I have always been told that the Bible is one book with one message running from Genesis to Revelation. However, what I see is different books with different authors who are addressing different issues. The only similarity I see is that God is the one who always is in charge. The author seeks to give every Christian a simple but not simplistic overview of the Bible, aiming to help us see how all the books fit together. The desire to see how the whole Bible is connected so that I can understand it to be able to handle it faithfully in my life and as I teach it to others made me read this book.
Vaughn Roberts strives to show that though the Bible is a diverse collection of writings, it has one author; God and one subject; Jesus Christ. As shown in 2Timothy 3:16 ‘All scripture is God-breathed….’ He says that the Bible is not a book of quotations, thus it does not contain isolated sayings. Therefore, each verse needs to be understood in the chapter it appears in and each chapter in the book it appears. It is also not a collection of books therefore, I should read each book of the Bible with reference to others. Since the Bible is one book you cannot separate the old testament from the new testament and vice versa.
Vaughan then shows us how the theme of the kingdom of God runs from Genesis to Revelation. He does this by first telling us of the pattern of God’s kingdom. This is God’s people, living in God’s place under His rule and blessing. This is shown by Adam and Eve in Eden. He talks of the perished kingdom which is caused by the fall of Adam and Eve. He then tells us of the promised kingdom which is the kingdom that God promised to re-establish through Abraham’s descendants. He then shows us how God’s promises are partially fulfilled in Israel thus calling them the partial kingdom. He then talks of the prophesied kingdom. This is Christ’s kingdom that is prophesied after the fall of Israel and Judah which made them be exiled. We then go to the present kingdom which is when Christ was on earth. This is followed by the proclaimed kingdom. This is the time we are in where Christ commanded us to proclaim Him. The final chapter talks of the perfected kingdom, which is the New Jerusalem that Christ, will bring when He returns.
I recommend this book to every Christian who is struggling to piece the bible together. The book uses simple English and has a summary after every chapter that helps you not lose track of the flow of thoughts.
Book Review by Steve Collins