"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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    What is the Central Theme of the Bible?

    Everyone is in covenant with God and the sanctions are according to which covenant you are in. Covenants are the architectural framework, the superstructure of the Bible. Covenant theology is just biblical theology because we find covenants everywhere in the Bible. Many scholars try to discover what is the center of the Bible ... the center of biblical theology? Some of the proposed centers for biblical theology are God, Israel, Covenant, creation, kingdom, salvation, new creation, and so forth. None of these are the center of the Bible though. They lose their meaning without Christ. If there is no Christ, there is no kingdom to talk about. The diversity of the Bible is unified in Christ. He is the center that holds all of the biblical data together. While the covenants night be the vehicle by which God relates to his people and the kingdom of God is certainly his pervasive rule over all people yet the fullest expression of God and His glory come in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and this is why covenants are important. They teach us about Him.
    - Rev Dan McManigal, from his lecture series on Covenant Theology

    Posted by John on July 22, 2010 07:00 PM


    Christianity is the only religion where God is truly a God and not just some glorified human with mere comic book powers. And this is something that the bible never lets us assume but reminds over and over. For even the bible itself if broken down to its most basic level is simply this: God has written His first auto-biography about Himself to publicly show how famous and Supreme He is and He did this through His Son Jesus Christ in the gospel. Or to sum up the bible in the shortest way possible: God’s self-declaration of how Famous He really is through the Person of His Son! It is not ultimately “god’s love letter ” about how a pathetic god needed and did everything he could save man who was so valuable to him. The bible is the Infinite Existence’s self-disclosure about how famous He really is as He shines this beauty centrally through His Son Jesus Christ on the cross.

    See, it is about God showcasing His glory through His Son Jesus Christ. Who in great love saved sinful mankind who were less than worthless, by causing them to partake of Their infinite happiness. Accordingly, even man’s enjoyment of God’s is in itself, at its greatest level, man bearing the image of God and thus showcasing His Fame in it, so that man’s beginning, middle and end, his salvation and happiness is for the Glory of God. Here God’s wisdom is displayed in that He acquires the accomplishment of having His greatest passion realized, which is having His unapproachable light made famously public through Jesus Christ’s bloodshed. Yet, God gave to man, who was created for this mere goal, infinite oceans of His own happiness to eternally pleasure themselves in, which they did not earn nor worked for. This good was only because Jesus Christ turned toward worthless dust and chose to loved them as His own! This is why God is so glorious in the eyes of all who have been granted the gift to see who He really is in the public image of His Son!

    Great article. I have struggled for some time with Goldsworthy's otherwise excellent overview of the Bible when he identifies Kingdom as the central motif. I think that's only part of the story. When I teach Bible overview I teach under the motif King and Kingdom

    The theme of the Bible is the vindication of God's name by means of his Kingdom under rulership of Jesus Christ.

    I agree with your assessment: Christ is the center. I can see, though, why people would want to point out other broad themes, like the ones you mention. What I don't understand is why people don't read The Bible this way. Why instead do they want to pick it apart, bit by bit, as if each verse were independent and carried equal weight.

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