The Unity of the Bible
It’s been said that the most read book in the world is the Bible. But in our increasingly post-truth, post-Christian, and post-churched world, many haven’t read it and have no idea what it’s about. The average non-Christian only knows as much about the Bible as culture tells them, and culture only says things like, “The Bible says ____ is wrong,” and things like that.
But, what is the Bible actually about?
Well, the Bible is a story. Even though it’s written by many authors with many genres over many years, it’s still one unified story (listen to our conversation with pastor Jonathan Neufeld on this topic).
So, what is the story of the Bible? What would be the Bible’s one-sentence synopsis on Netflix?
Any attempt to summarize the basic outline of a story in one sentence will always fall short somewhere. However, we should still try!
The Story of the Bible (in one really long sentence)
Here’s our attempt at explaining the story of the Bible in one really long sentence:
The Bible is a story about the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present God, who decided to create a beautiful universe, including humanity, which would reveal and promote his love, greatness, creativity, righteousness, and justice, for the purpose of creation experiencing his goodness, thanking God for that goodness, and that he’d be glorified,
but, after only a sliver of time humanity stopped revealing and promoting his love, greatness, creativity, righteousness, and justice, and thus went against God’s righteous intent for creation and were now rebels in his kingdom under sin, the unbelief in God and his goodness, which then resulted in God, being unmoving in his justice, to curse creation, including humanity, and prepare holy condemnation,
however, God, because of his mercy, had already planned an event before the universe existed that would eventually cause humanity and creation to be restored to their original purpose, which was worked out first through Israel, a nation that God chose to uniquely reveal himself to by entering into covenants with them and speaking to them through prophets who brought Israel God’s law and talked about Someone who was to come that would finally reign as the perfect King over the world, because as God looked upon the world he only saw sin, even in his chosen people Israel who constantly broke their side of the covenants, but God chose to be patient in judging the world fully in justice based on his plan of restoration, which he hinted at by saying things like, “I will take their hearts of stone, and give them hearts of flesh,” and, “They will be my people, and I will be their God,”
and the truths found in these promises began to burn brighter at the coming of a baby named Jesus who turned out to be that “Someone” foretold, God himself who came to earth to live a perfect life of obedience, model to Israel and others what it looks like to worship God in spirit and truth, and to die a humiliating death that acted as a massive sacrifice to God the Father, for Jesus took upon himself every sin from the first person God created to the last person who will ever live in the future, and bore the consequences of those sins of rebellion which resulted in God’s justice being satisfied,
and yet the story continues in that Jesus didn’t stay dead but, by God’s Spirit, rose from the dead to show himself as the One who is stronger than death itself and the One who is truly God, the God who had directed this restoration plan from the beginning, and then offered the perfection of Jesus in his obedience and worship to anyone and everyone who calls upon his name, saying, “If anyone believes in Jesus, their sins will be forgiven, they will receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and will be accepted into my eternal kingdom without sin forever and ever,”
and so God the Spirit moved to and fro regenerating darkened hearts, and empowering men and women, after Jesus went up to sit at the right hand of God the Father, to go and share this salvation to all people, training them to love God and love others as Jesus did, and to meet together to love and worship God as an orderly community in relationship, which reflects the community within God himself, for God, from eternity, has always been God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, in one, who, in ways that a human mind can’t fathom, works his perfect will in and through the past, present and future, which will include a coming day where God the Son, Jesus Christ, will step off his throne in heaven and come down once again,
except this time he won’t be a baby born in humility, but a King dressed for judgment, who will judge every living thing according to God’s rule and reign, resulting in a separation of people, one group entering a place of darkness called hell where they will eternally be condemned for their unbelief and distrust towards God, and the other group entering an indescribably joyful and eternal place where God is, called heaven, where God will be worshipped and adored for eternity by all those who called upon his name and received the salvation found in Jesus, called the gospel, while on earth,
and it’s here in heaven where the full restoration of creation will be seen, for everything, including the people there, will fully and perfectly reveal and promote his love, greatness, creativity, righteousness, and justice, for the purpose of experiencing his goodness, thanking God for that goodness, and that he’d be glorified forever – period.
That’s our humble attempt at summarizing the story of the Bible in one really long sentence.
What changes/additions would you make?