Here’s a new book that has to do with reading God’s Word rightly and for profit: Welcome to the Story by Stephen Nichols. In just over 150 pages, Nichols introduces the main storyline of the Bible, how our lives fit into that story, and how to read the Bible (story). This is a helpful “big picture” introduction to profitable Bible study.
To give a little more detail, Nichols discusses creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. He then gives some specific examples of individuals in the Bible’s story and examines the main point of the story (God’s glory). In the last section, Nichols explains what the Bible does to us and through us. He closes by giving some practical advice for reading the Bible. Along the way, Nichols covers most of the main truths of the faith in this book, including sin and bondage, salvation in Christ, Christian service out of gratitude, and so forth.
As a sort of minor side note, the only tiny quibble I have with the book is the amount of anecdotal stories Nichols used. I realize this is subjective, and some people may appreciate it, but in my opinion there were simply too many illustrative stories. It seemed like they made up about 20% of the book.
If you’ve done any amount of reading in redemptive-history (or biblical theology – i.e. Clowney, Vos, Horton, etc.) this book will be too elementary for you. However, it is the perfect one to give to Christians who don’t really understand or know the overarching story of Scripture. It also might be a good book to use in a high school setting. I’m thinking about giving it to a few visitors at the church I pastor – visitors who are just learning about the grand story of the Bible.
Though there are already quite a few decent books that explain redemptive history in an introductory manner, and though there are a few good books out there that give practical advice on reading the Bible, this is the first I know of that puts these two things together. If you want both of these things in one book, put Welcome to the Story on the top of your list (it’s only around $10)!