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Christ from Beginning to End


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: A Puzzling Book, Perfect Word This chapter will open by comparing the Bible to a puzzle. Puzzles are hard, and so is the Bible. Puzzles take a long time and are comprised of many diverse parts. So is the Bible. Puzzles are often left incomplete. Tragically, so is the Bible, and as a result so is our picture of Christ. And yet, like a puzzle, the Bible’s parts aren’t meant to conceal but to reveal. With time and patience the Bible can be understood and our picture of Christ made more complete across our life. The body of this chapter will be divided into three parts corresponding to the three parts of the book, each part unpacking a different aspect of a complete reading of Scripture. PART 1: THE BIBLE’S NATURE Chapter 2: What Is the Bible? The first question most of us will ask when coming to the Bible is, “What does it say?” That’s a good question. But a more fundamental question is, simply, “What is it?” That is, “What is the Bible?” This chapter will answer this question in three ways: 1) The Bible is a divine-human book, and so it has divine and human features; 2) The Bible is a progressively revealed book, which means it comes to us in the course of time, revealing and interpreting God’s work in the world; 3) The Bible is a book centered on Christ, which means that all of its diverse material has a fundamental unity in revealing Jesus Christ to the reader. Chapter 3: How Then Should We Read the Bible? As with any book, there is a proper and an improper way to read the Bible. Having established what the Bible is, in this chapter we will explore how we can read the Bible according to what it is: where it came from, how it came to us, and what it’s centrally about. And so we read the Bible according to three horizons or three contexts. The immediate horizon concerns the immediate context of the words on any given page of Scripture in light of its placement in the book of Scripture. The unfolding horizon/context requires that we read a text in light of what comes before it, discerning its location in God’s covenant story. The final horizon/context has to do with how a given text relates to the Bible’s overarching message of salvation in Jesus Christ, and how it is understood in terms of the whole Bible. PART 2: THE BIBLE’S STRUCTURE Chapter 4: Creation: A Garden Full of God’s Glory This chapter will work through the story of Creation in Genesis 1-2 to identify the main characters of the story, establish the setting of the story, and define trajectories for the storyline ahead. Kids who ask their parents, “Where did everything come from?,” are asking a perceptive question of inestimable consequence. Parents who have an answer are speaking to their children about the most basic beliefs that shape their understanding of the world and their place in it. Creation stories are important and every person and every people has one. So does God. Chapter 5: Fall: A Day Full of Death This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book. It is through an understanding the problem at the heart of the Bible that the message of the Bible makes sense. By unpacking Genesis 3 we will see how sin brings a transformation in the relationship of the characters to one another (God and humankind), a transformation of the setting (the creation groans), and a transformation in the direction of the story (judgment). The question at hand is this: in light of sin and its consequences, how can God and humankind be reconciled to one another? Chapter 6: Redemption: A Story Full of Promise This chapter will give an answer to the question raised in the previous chapter. In Genesis 3:15, God makes an astounding promise: a son of Eve will crush the head of the serpent, and the serpent will bruise his heel. There will be conflict, God will win, and he will defeat his enemy through a human son. How he will do this remains a great mystery at this point, but that he will do it is certain. The story that follows will unfold ho

About the Author

Stephen Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of Kingdom through Covenant (Crossway). He is also the author of a forthcoming volume on Christology in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series (Crossway). He is also writing a systematic theology that will be published around 2017 (B&H Academic).


“A few years ago, Steve Wellum shared with our church “a bird’s-eye view of the Bible.” Our church turned out eagerly to hear these presentations and loved every minute. We are so thankful that this simple tool for orienting believers to the storyline of Scripture is available to all. You will be too.”
*JIM ELLIFF, a pastor of Christ Fellowship of Kansas City*

“A pastor and a scholar team up to explain the Bible’s storyline accessibly and skillfully. This book is a gift to the church.”
*ANDY NASELLI, associate professor of New Testament and theology, Bethlehem College and Seminary*

“Hunter and Wellum cause their readers to love Christ more deeply in response to the full picture of redemption seen through all of Scripture. I’m excited about and grateful for this beautifully written resource. It couldn’t be more timely.”
*RUTH CHOU SIMONS, artist and bestselling author, GraceLaced*

“If you want to revel in seeing the beauty and glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ from all of Scripture, then pick up copies of this book for yourself and other Christians you want to encourage. I know I will.”
*JUAN R. SANCHEZ, senior pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin*

“It’s hard to imagine a more reliable guide to understanding the Bible for new believers, church members, and small group leaders.”
*CHRISTOPHER W. MORGAN, dean and professor of theology, California Baptist University, Riverside*

“Readers of all levels will find this accessible book a fascinating guide to God’s unfolding story. It’s sheer pleasure to commend this book.”
*FRED G. ZASPEL, pastor, Reformed Baptist Church*

“Reading the Bible with Jesus as the unifying center is as revolutionary today as it was in the early days of the Christian church. Hunter and Wellum are both committed to the value of this approach, and their work winsomely makes the case.”
*DAVE HELM, lead pastor, Hyde Park Congregation, Holy Trinity Church*

“This book is a rich, instructive, faithful, and clear unfolding of our promise keeping God’s gracious purposes in Christ. Highly recommended!”
*ALAN J. THOMPSON, Sydney Missionary and Bible College, Croydon*

“This book is simple, but not simplistic, and it is accessible to those who are reading the Bible for the first time and helpful for those who have read the Bible their entire lives.”
*THOMAS R. SCHREINER, James Buchanan Harrison, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary*

“This book will help you know Jesus Christ better and enable you to understand how all of Scripture points to the surpassing glory of his perfect life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection. I only wish it had been around forty-five years ago when I became a Christian!”
*BOB KAUFLIN, director, Sovereign Grace Music*

“This excellent book deserves wide reading. For an overview of the Bible with a focus on Christ, this will be the text I recommend!”
*GREG STRAND, executive director of theology and credentialing, Evangelical Free Church of America*

“This is the kind of resource to put in the hands of small group leaders, Sunday school teachers, youth group leaders, and staff. But it’s also for parents who want to know how to read the Bible to their children, and anyone who would like to better understand the storyline of Scripture. Highly recommended!”
*MICHAEL LAWRENCE, pastor, Hinson Baptist Church, Portland*

“Wellum and Hunter have craft-roasted the fine beans of sound doctrine and biblical theology, put them through the burr grinder, measured them into the French press, and poured the filtered water just off the boil. Four minutes have passed, which means the time has come for you to relish the rich, thick, and frothy cup they’ve prepared for your edification and delight. Drink deeply, which is to say, read and relish.”
*JIM HAMILTON, professor of biblical theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary*

“Wellum and Hunter have produced the best, and most accessible, “along the Bible” tool I’ve found for helping people understand the unfolding drama of redemption. Read it for yourself, and then again with your leaders, your kids, and your study group.”
*DAVID W. HEGG, senior pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Santa Clarita*

“What if you could take the lifelong learning of a seminary professor and have it translated by the preaching ministry of a former student turned pastor so that everyone in the church can apply it? That’s what you hold in your hands. Think of it as the best class you never got to take.”
*JUSTIN TAYLOR, managing editor, ESV Study Bible; blogger, The Gospel Coalition*

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