Having recognized that we Christians need to understand and be able to explain how all the individual Bible stories combine to make one epic, overarching story of God's dealings with and plan for humans and creation, I ordered 4 books which claim to explain this story.
This is the best and clearest of all those books. I may read a few more books on this topic to again attempt to find the "best" one; but this one does exactly what it claims to: it shows how God's works in history progress to giving humanity the best gift He can: Himself through Jesus, Who fulfills (and will in His 2nd trip to earth) all the prophesies of Jewish prophets and all the foreshadowings of Jewish laws. They were pointing centuries before to a Messiah Who is both human and divine and Who would die and rise again, once for all, on behalf of sinners who admit their failures and believe in Him to forgive and save them.
Everyone should read this book. It's amazing how the apparent "inconsistencies" of the Bible melt away when people understand the Timeline of the stories. Some things God did in the past were meant to be inadequate and temporary, merely as a sign of what (or Who) the perfect and permanent was to come, and now has come, and will come again...
P.S. I'm going to buy a few more as gifts for people who don't have time to dig deeply into the Bibles themselves. For such people, reading this book is ALMOST more useful than reading the Bible directly, since it summarizes the parts of the Bible that are detailed but confusing and shows how they connect to other parts.
Self-purchase through Ligonier Ministries bookstore.
From page 10:
"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 the different parts fit together."
Every once in a while I'll read statistics on how many Christians read their Bible? How many read their Bible daily? How many are in an on-going Bible study?
The results are dismal.
We live in an age where the Bible is available everywhere: bookstores, smart-phone applications, eReader, Internet.
We talk about reading the Bible; however, talking about it is as far as we get. We claim to be too busy.
We decide maybe after we retire we'll read the Bible. When we retire we're still to busy.
The Bible is placed upon a dusty shelf to be ignored as much as possible, because looking at it reminds us we're still too busy to read it.
When we don't read the Bible, God's Word, we don't know Him because we don't know what His message to us is. We're apt to follow a kook who claims to know God and His Word, but is "full of beans".
Vaughan Roberts has written an easy to understand and follow overview of the Old Testament and New Testament. He begins with teaching the creation in Genesis in "The Pattern of the Kingdom". He moves through the fall which is "The Perished Kingdom", "The Promised Kingdom", "The Partial Kingdom" which is the history of Israel, "The Prophesied Kingdom" which are the great prophets. "The Present Kingdom" is the New Testament.
Vaughan explains how the New Testament teaches us:
"Jesus is the true Adam
Jesus is the true Israel.
Jesus is the true temple.
Jesus introduces the new covenant.
Jesus is the new king.
Jesus is the source of God's blessing."
Each of the Gospel books are briefly listed and described, followed by the "work of the Holy Spirit" in Acts. Vaughan reminds us that we are living "in the in-between period." Revelation is the last chapter taught. "The New Testament ends where the Old Testament ended: looking forward, waiting for the final fulfillment of the promises of God." Revelation 22:20.
I feel that a Christian of any level of development would enjoy reading this book.
It is easy to understand and absorb.
I feel I can translate this subject matter to another person, given the chance, to explain how the OT and NT tie in together and how Jesus Christ is the over-arching theme.
This would be a great book for individual, small group, or large group teaching.
While reading this book I thought about people who've I've heard express how they don't understand the God of the OT and how He compares to the NT. God's Big Picture is the answer. A very clear answer.
Well structured and easy to understand. Having read 5 various books on this subject of the Kingdom of God, Mr. Roberts book was the most organized, structured, illustrated and understandable. It became the foundation for my own series on the Kingdom. A great first book since it lays the foundation necessary for understanding the more in depth books such as: Announcing the Kingdom and According to Plan.