Bible Basics: Introduction
My Bible Basics series is my first major attempt at writing material that would communicate a more comprehensive picture of the Christian worldview. This series did not begin with the GreatTruthsAndSubtleLies blog, but is actually an 8 week class I created and have taught a couple dozen times at local homeless shelter and program called Harbor Hall. I have also adapted a version for Junior High.
The inspiration of how I designed this class came from the book Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey where she does a phenomenal job arguing for the value of communicating a more comprehensive view of the Christian worldview. Check out Total Truth, her Gold Medallion Award winning book here.
What does it mean to “Communicate a comprehensive picture of the Christian worldview?
It is to portray a broad picture of the Christian worldview instead of focusing on a specific topic. For example, most bible studies are focused on a book of the Bible or a specific topic like prayer, anger, or the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Bible Basics is different because it takes a look at the big picture of the Bible without getting into too much detail of any individual topic. In fact I tell my students every week that the purpose of Bible Basics is to show them the big picture of the Bible so that the Gospel makes sense.
Why do this? Isn’t telling someone that Jesus loves them and died for their sins enough? In one sense it can be enough for someone to come to saving faith, but in another it is not. Jesus’ work on the cross is the climax of the Bible but it’s hard to understand the importance of a climax without understanding everything leading up to the climax. Here’s an analogy.
You live in Providence, Rhode Island. A kind man comes to you and tells you that if you want eternal life you need to get to Los Angeles, California in 5 days. Here’s the problem: You don’t know what cars, planes, or trains are. You’ve never even heard of them. The task is impossible! But then the kind man gives you a powerful V8 Corvette engine, a brand new set of wheels and 30,000 dollars and tells you, “Don’t worry, this will get you there.” The kind man goes on his way and you are left staring at these large hunks of metal and rubber wondering how in the world they are supposed to help you on your mission. You ask, “This is seriously supposed to get me to San Francisco? This doesn’t make any sense!” Well another guy comes along and explains to you what a car is. He shows you that you need a car frame and body to put the engine and tires in. He helps you put the car together. Then he shows you how to drive the car and use a map. Getting to Los Angeles in 5 days finally becomes a piece of cake and you are thankful for that engine and tires.
Often the same thing happens when unbelievers hear about Jesus dying for their sins. It doesn’t make sense! “So you’re telling me I’m a sinner? I’m not perfect, but I’m not that bad!” and “What does a guy being killed a long time ago do for me anyways?” are thoughts people often have when they hear the Gospel in its simplest form. These questions often can be answered by a clear communication of the big picture of the Bible. In creation we see what mankind is made to be. In the Fall we see where everything went wrong. In the Law we see the standard God expects mankind to live up to. In prophecy we see promise of salvation. All of these things among others set the foundation for the Gospel of Jesus dying for our sins. The whole Bible builds and answers the question of “why do I need Jesus?” Therefore if we want to most effectively share the Gospel with someone, we need to explain the big picture of the Bible and its major themes.
At the end of every Bible Basics class I teach, I ask the students if the Gospel makes more sense now that they’ve gotten an overview of the Christian worldview. So far I’ve had 100% yeses! There are some that leave that still don’t believe it but they say the Gospel actually makes sense to them for the first time. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to saving faith, but I rejoice when Gospel is clearly explained and understood!
So how can you do this? How can you communicate a more comprehensive picture of the Christian worldview? That’s what this blog series is about.
My material is far from perfect but I hope at the very least it can be an example of a faithful way to share the truth about Jesus Christ with the world. May many others do something similar and do it better!
Look for the next post in this series:
Bible Basics: Creation