Last week I took my elder candidates to a conference on Biblical Theology (a reason for my extended time away from the world of blog). It got me to thinking about a cashier I spoke with at Wal-Mart sometime back. My eye caught a book in the checkout lane titled Understanding the Bible. I was particularly interested in it because I recognized the author as a professor with whom I had been acquainted. So, like the impulse item purchaser that Wal-Mart expects me to be, I threw it on the counter.
The cashier, seeing the book, commented that she did not understand the Bible. I asked her what she meant. What was the difficulty? She gave no sensible answer. So I suggested she read the Bible like we read almost all other books -- from beginning to end. Since the Bible is a narrative, this is the best way to read it. In addition, we all like stories. I think that's because we're in one.
If you're interested in the Bible's theological story (the story is about God), I suggest beginning by taking the advice I gave to that confused cashier. Also, order a copy of Vaughan Roberts' God's Big Picture. It's a short simple portrayal of redemptive history (biblical theology). This story is given to reveal God to us. We ought to know it well.