When it comes to the Bible, scholars and non-scholars have something in common. We can both get lost in minutia.
Academics can get lost in the details of philology and morphology. The rest of us are prone to proof-texting, ripping verses or phrases out of context as if the Bible were a book of disconnected timeless truths or a mere handbook for living.
Each offers seven grand themes sparked by iconic verses in the Bible that help us see the majestic vista of God’s work. Wright’s choices from the Old Testament are creation, Abraham, Exodus, David, prophets, gospel, and wisdom. In the New, Burge walks us through fulfillment, kingdom, cross, grace, covenant, spirit, completion.
The two books link together in another way. Wright appropriately notes how the Old Testament points to and is fulfilled in Christ. Burge regularly points out how the New is based on and rooted in the Old. In plain and engaging language, both authors provide this necessary service because we have little hope of understanding Jesus or the apostles without engaging both testaments.
The result is a complete, brief, and readable overview of the Bible. Each book provides discussion questions for each chapter. Taking one a week, then, any church or small group could in under four months lift their heads from the weeds to see the grand landscape that is God’s story.
Note: I received complementary copies of both books from the publisher. I also was responsible for signing Chris Wright to do his book for IVP, though I had retired before the book was released and did not participate in its development or final form. My opinions are my own.