What does it mean to be a human? Is the Bible God’s word, or was it contrived and made up by man? What is the meaning of life? How do I know the truth? Who or what is God?
These are big questions.
These are the kinds of questions Vaughan Roberts attempts to answer in his book, “Life’s Big Questions: Six Major Themes Traced Through the Bible.” The subtitle tells you everything you need to know: that he will be examining six major themes in the entire Bible.
I took a Hermeneutics class for seminary and this was required reading. I thought it was really appropriate for that class because you need to get a bird’s eye view of the Bible sometimes. We can forget when we are in the trenches of looking at one particular passage of Scripture or one particular book of Scripture that there is an entire battlefield to survey that is equally important. It is helpful to take a step back and know what the Bible is all about.
So what are the six major themes? They are:
The King; the Divine Image of man; God’s marriage; wealth and possessions; the Holy Spirit; and God’s plan for the world.
In each one of these themes, Roberts dives deep into the entire Bible to answer a specific series of questions. For example, in the chapter on the king, Roberts makes clear that God is the king over the entire universe and we know this because the Bible tells us it from Genesis to Revelation. That is an incontrovertible fact about the character and nature of God from His revealed word to us. And in reality, I believe that this is a function of God that is oftentimes misrepresented in American Evangelicalism today. There is not a high view of God’s Kingship in our culture today and our understanding of the New Testament suffers because of it (Jesus inaugurating the Kingdom of God in particular). There are other meaningful chapters as well: the chapter on the Holy Spirit and the plan for the world both come to mind.
What I would say about this book is that it would be great for a small group study. There are included small group questions and I could see how beneficial those would be in a pared down group of committed individuals. Any Christian can be benefitted from this book, however. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think. 5/5