Home Group Bible Study Idea

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In the Ashford Congregational Church 'Ashford #1' home group, we have been studying the Bible with the aid of “God's Big Picture”, by Vaughan Roberts (Inter Varsity Press).

Each chapter has a bottled Bible study, insightful commentary on a phase of Kingdom history, and lots of good questions to make the Bible study interactive.

There is a less whacky review of the book here.

He attacks (and admits to once having had) ...

1. A Superficial Understanding of the Bible (See Preface, pp. 9,10)

Traditional break-down:
History (Gen – Est)
Poetry (Job – SoS)
Prophecy (Isa – Mal)
Gospels (Mt – Jn)
Letters (Rom – Jude)

He then encourages us towards ...

2. Understanding the Bible as a Whole (pp. 16, 17, 19)

The Bible -

He emphasises ...

3. The Unity of the Bible (pp. 20, 21)

The key unifying theme of the Bible is “The Kingdom of God”.

Kingdom = “God's People in God's Place, under God's rule and blessing.”

He then explains that it is possible to have ...

4. A Kingdom-oriented Structure of the Bible (pp. 22 to 25)

  1. The Pattern of the Kingdom
  2. The Perished Kingdom
  3. The Promised Kingdom
  4. The Partial Kingdom
  5. The Prophesied Kingdom
  6. The Present Kingdom
  7. The Proclaimed Kingdom
  8. The Perfected Kingdom

5. The Progress of the Kingdom (pg. 157)

Kingdom progress can be represented graphically like this. This is a better representation than the one in Roberts' book.

(Diagram similar to one produced by C.J.L. Bennett)

Although the concept of 'Kingdom' provides the sandwich filling for understanding the Bible and what God is doing in history, this writer feels that a covenantal approach is complementary. Ie. Covenants are the bread, the Kingdom is the filling. There are many covenants, all part of God's single great covenant with his Creation. The end result is rather like a “Scooby Sandwich”.

D.W. Legg 11/9/2004

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