A personal history in books 3: According to Plan

Dan, a guy who became a Christian around the same time I did is now the pastor of my church. His dad used to work for a Christian bookshop and has remained a big reader of Christian books. He was also the elder of the church where I became a Christian.

He gave me a book, within 12 months of me becoming a Christian from a non-Christian family. Maybe for Christmas? I'm not sure. I didn't know anything about it. Never heard of it or its author. The cover was a bit childish but kind of approachable in a late 90s book cover sort of way.

Anyway I read it because I read pretty much anything anyone gave me at this point in those eager early days. And it blew. My. Mind.

It gave the Old Testament to me as a book I could read.

I'd read the whole Bible as a young convert, and been amazed, sometimes bored, always intrigued by it. But I wasn't super sure how to make sense of it. The Israelites gave up their piercings when they left Egypt... should Christians not have noserings?

But According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy told me that 'all I had to do' was place whatever bit of the Bible I was reading into a phase of salvation history... and then see how it contributed to my understanding of the Kingdom of God.

So I remember trying it out on all the baffling bits I had encountered as I'd read through the Bible. And it really helped me see through the confusing details to the big picture. 

So awesome.

Now since then I've learned lots more and become a better Bible reader in lots of different ways. But this book is still a formative one for how I think about, read, and preach the Word of God.

And for what it's worth, although longer, its opening chapters and closing examples provide a way more accessible entry point than Goldsworthy's shorter but denser Gospel And Kingdom.

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