Roberts God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible is a book that explains the bible’s 66 books in simple words and in one book. Roberts explains the bible in about 150 pages. This book takes us through the bible’s stories of creation, the fall of man, the early church, Israel and all the prophets and lastly, the coming of the new kingdom. Through the titles and chapters in Roberts’s book, the reader learns how God is working to redeem His fallen creation and restore back his rule to the earth. The book is divided into eight chapters which have charts and graphs at the end of every chapter illustrating the kingdom of God. The author explains the kingdom of God in 8 fold with a p approach, pattern, perished, promised, partial, prophesied, proclaimed and perfected. This book shows how the kingdom of God is revealed and developed throughout the pages of the bible in simple words.
In his book, Robert explains how the first kingdom perished after man sinned against God by rejecting God’s kingdom (Roberts 8). It talks of the kingdom of salvation that God has promised. As Roberts’s book turns to the New Testament, it shows how Jesus brought back God’s kingdom through salvation. It explains Jesus’ obedience to God His father by dying on the cross for sinners. It further explains His resurrection which brings a new age of Gods blessings and Gods new kingdom. Roberts book God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible teaches us how the kingdom of God was first established in the Garden of Eden and how it perished after Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Roberts aim in this book is to help Christians have a wide understanding of the bible. This is seen in this quote from the book “to help Christians find their way around the Bible and to see how it all holds together and points us to Jesus” (Roberts 14).
Roberts book God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible has many advantages compared to its weaknesses. One of the strengths of Roberts’s book is that it is easily accessible to a wide range of audience including the young readers who are in high school and even Sunday school children due to the ease of reading the book and its brevity. The writings are in simple words and clearly written which makes even the younger readers understand the book easily without any difficulties. In addition, the book contains bible studies at the end of all the chapters. This bible studies makes the reader understand and familiarize with the stories of the bible without having to read the whole bible.
The book consists of chapters and questions of discussions that are very efficient to be used by students and those in Sunday school in understanding the bible. This questions and chapters make it easier for the reader to understand the bible stories and its concepts. Furthermore, the book can be used in classroom because it contains questions at the end of every chapter can be discussed in class and this can make the students understand the bible very easily. By students answering the questions, they understand the bible very well and are able to handle any questions concerning the bible in class very easily.
Another strength of God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible book is that it contains charts and drawings that are helpful to the reader. The charts in the book explain how events took place in the bible, the date and time when they really happened. The book provides guidelines on how to read and interpret the bible. It has colorful and relevant quotes throughout the book which makes it easy to be read and understood. Moreover, Roberts’s book makes the reader see the bible as one book with one author and one subject making it easier for them to understand the bible fully. It gives the reader the guidelines on how to interpret the bible and understand the events that took place both in the old and New Testament. This book helps both students and Christians to have a deeper understanding of the bible.
One of the weaknesses of Roberts book is God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible is how he interprets the book of Genesis, the days and events that took place at that time. He excludes many concepts of the bible in His arguments about the Genesis. His views and interpretation of the book of Genesis, about Adam and Eve, the creation and the origin of sin are a contrast to the bible. He is not even sure how long it took God to create the earth and all the living things. This is seen in his statements "Whether he completed the job in six literal twenty-four hours days or over a longer period does not really what is important is the fact that God is the creator of all things" (Roberts 27). His opinion with that of Christians differs.
The definition of the Kingdom of God in this book is not biblical. Roberts defines the kingdom of God as "The kingdom of God: God's people in God's place under God's rule and blessing." The writer excludes angels in the kingdom of God yet according to the bible, angels are part of the kingdom of God and are also under God’s rule. In addition, Roberts asserts that there was no person in the kingdom of God, if that is true, where was Noah? Where was Enoch? As we all know a kingdom needs to have subjects and God rules them and so if there was no one in the kingdom then who was God ruling?
This book talks about great things and truths in the bible yet there is nowhere in the book where it tells the reader how to preach these truths. Comparably, the bible talks of truths and encourages the servants of God to go all over the world and preach the truth to the world. The author of this book heavily depends on Graeme Goldsworthy’s ideas in his book Gospel and Kingdom instead of basing his arguments on his own idea.
Personally, I like the way the chapters in the book are arranged. When I was young, I really wished that I could read the bible and complete it so that I could understand it but for sure this book has helped me understand the bible in a different perspective. I was able to understand the bible fully from the book of genesis to revelation by reading only 160 pages without going through the hardships of reading all the 66 books of the bible. It helped me understand the bible in a new dimension. This book has given me a big picture of the bible and a wider understanding of the kingdom of God. In essence, the book changed my personal view about the bible and the kingdom of God. I only believed that the kingdom of God will be seen after the second coming of Jesus Christ. Entirely, I liked the book; it is of great help in classroom for it has good ideas for discussion.
Roberts, Vaughan. God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible. Illinois: Intervarsity Press Books, 2002.Print