In The Drama of Scripture, Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen provide an engaging overview of the story line and theology of the Bible. As the authors suggest in their introduction, it is only as we read and appropriate the Bible “as our story” that we fully understand it and allow it to have authority over us. As we enter into the story of the Bible, we find God revealed there and are called to participate in his continuing activity. The biblical story, then, is foundational to Christian thinking and living.
Working from this perspective, the authors survey the story in Scripture. Their work is part introduction, part commentary, part theology, and thoroughly engaging. They suggest two over-arching themes running throughout the story—“covenant” in the Old Testament and “the kingdom of God” in the New Testament. These two themes effectively summarize the activity of God throughout human history. They are ways of looking at the story in order to gain an understanding of God’s purposes and to let them claim us.
Bartholomew and Goheen work their way through the Bible as a drama with six acts—creation, sin, Israel, Jesus, mission, and new creation. Their study provides an introduction to the Bible and a commentary on important passages, but it is more than that. It is also a theological reflection on the ongoing story and a call for participation in God’s grand narrative. It will be a useful work for students who study Scripture and a helpful resource for pastors and teachers looking for assistance in developing a compelling presentation of the biblical story.
Complete the series with Living at the Crossroads and Christian Philosophy: A Systematic and Narrative Introduction!
Praise for the Print Edition
Much recent scholarship has emphasized the narrative quality of Scripture. This book takes that insight and brings it to life, enabling even the beginner to grasp the sense of Scripture as a single great story—a drama in which we are all invited to play a part. I am delighted to see solid scholarship made easily accessible in this splendid fashion.
—N. T. Wright
Bartholomew and Goheen have produced a volume that will help inexperienced readers of the Bible get a view of the big picture before moving into more atomistic treatments of the Bible. It will serve well in introductory level Bible courses and may serve equally well in basic courses in hermeneutics. Its easy, nontechnical language will make it a popular text with such students.
—Jeffrey S. Lamp, Review of Biblical Literature
Here is a book whose time has come. Bartholomew and Goheen have produced a brief, accessible presentation of the entire biblical story that highlights both the unity of Scripture and its profound cultural relevance today. For readers who think of the Bible as a succession of unrelated devotional fragments geared primarily toward individual morality and spirituality, this book will come as a salutary shock, a reminder that the Christ-centered canonical Scriptures constitute a coherent Word of God that challenges the underlying religious direction of Western civilization. Based on deep and wide scholarship, but engagingly written for a broad audience, The Drama of Scripture promises to be an indispensable tool for the many Christians who have been awakened to God’s call for serious cultural engagement, in the name of Christ, with a post-Christian world in thrall to the idols of both modernism and postmodernism.
—Albert M. Wolters
- Title: The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story
- Authors: Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen
- Publisher: Baker
- Publication Date: 2004
- Pages: 256
About the Authors
Craig G. Bartholomew (Ph.D., Bristol University) is the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy and professor of religion and theology at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He is the author of Reading Ecclesiastes, coauthor of Living at the Crossroads, and coeditor of a number of volumes, including the award-winning Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of Scripture. He is also a priest in the Church of England.
Michael W. Goheen (Ph.D., University of Utrecht) is the Geneva Professor of Worldview and Religious Studies at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. He is also the minister of preaching at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church. He is the author of As the Father Has Sent Me, I Am Sending You.