Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 48:4 (Dec 2005)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story. By Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004, 252 pp., $19.99.

Having just read the revised edition of Beginning Old Testament Study by Rogerson, Barton, Clines, and Joyce, which reflects some of the common skepticism prevalent in Biblical Studies these days, I found The Drama of Scripture to be a refreshing contrast. I do not mean to imply that the work solves all the problems of an honest approach to the Bible, but that the writers affirm that despite questions about the Bible, one can read it with confidence and find a positive, coherent message in the whole.

The authors, both professors at Redeemer University College in Ontario, aimed the work at first-year students and designed it as a text for an introductory biblical theology course, with two goals in mind: (1) that students "understand the true nature of Scripture: it is God's story, the true story of the world" and should be the foundation for life; and (2) that students "learn to articulate a thoroughly biblical worldview by systematically developing the most comprehensive categories of the Bible's story line: creation, sin, and redemption" (p. 11). In short, the book is a telling of the biblical story that "is a compelling unity on which we may depend" and in which we all have a place.

According to the authors, the book has three important emphases. First, the book highlights the comprehensive scope of God's redemptive work in creation. The story is about God's work to establish what was intended at creation. Second, the book discusses the believer's place in the story. This focus is realized by challenging readers to struggle with the questions foundational to a biblical worldview: "Who am I?" "Where am I?" "What's wrong?" "What's the solution?" and "What time is it?" (p. 12). Third, the book proclaims the centrality of mission in the biblical story—first God's mission to restore creation, and then people's opportunity and challenge to continue that mission.

The work obviously is influenced a great deal by N. T. Wright's work, most obviously in that his metaphor of the Bible as drama, adopted from a long-standing Western tradition of storytelling, informs not only the basic thrust of the work, but also the form ("Acts" rather than chapters) and the title (p. 13). The book contains a Table of Contents; a list of Figures; a Preface; a Prologue; six main parts called "Acts" divided in the middle by an Interlude; Notes; and Scripture and Subject Indexes.

The authors also have established a related website,, which inc...

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