What if I told you that in 16 words, you could know the big picture of the bible? That seems like a lofty goal! The bible is several thousand years old, has been used by billions throughout history, and is typically at least 1000 pages in length. How could someone undertake such a daunting task? Those are the sort of books which grab my attention before I’ve even seen the cover!
The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words by Chris Bruno was my first encounter with Bruno’s writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed his writing! As a student of biblical theology—the tracing of themes as they are woven throughout the tapestry of scripture—this book was a much-needed reminder of just how thrilling and engaging biblical theology really is! Bruno reminds us from the beginning that, “to know the whole message of the bible, we must know that God’s end-time promises have already begun to be fulfilled through Jesus, but they are not yet complete, and will not be until Jesus returns to make all things new.”
In this accessible volume, Bruno walks readers through themes such as: eschatology, judgment, creation, covenants, temple, Israel, etc. In tracing these themes, readers are taken through the corridors of the Old Testament to see how Abraham, David, the Psalmists and many others shaped their foundations. He then traces how these themes are found in the New Testament, are lived out for today, and point us to the ultimate end. This end is when Jesus returns in splendor and glory to receive His bride—the Church—and bring the final judgment before ushering is His eternal Kingdom.
Bruno does an excellent job of introducing themes, briefly showing their flow throughout scripture, and then connecting Old and New Testament passages. This is not a text which will dive into every mention of a theme from Genesis to Revelation. It is more of a book to whet readers’ appetites for digging into the scriptures themselves to see how the bible fits together to point to Christ. One of my most favorite aspects of this book was the final chapter, titled: “Where to Go Next”. He advises that the study of biblical theology be focused on the finished work of Christ. He urges readers to read through the bible yearly. Finally, he gives readers a few sources of further study in biblical theology. This gives the interested reader the proper focus on the scripture and gospel while also presenting them with tools to grow in reading the bible and studying biblical theology.
I highly recommend The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words. Not only is it a great introduction to biblical theology in general, it is also a tool to help readers get started doing biblical theology for themselves. This could be very useful as a discipleship tool for believers in every stage of their walk with Christ. I also look forward to reading The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 verses by Bruno.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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