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According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible Paperback – November 10, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Graeme Goldsworthy is an Australian Anglican and Old Testament scholar. He was formerly lecturer in Old Testament, biblical theology and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia and continues to teach there part time. Goldsworthy is the author of According to Plan, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, Gospel & Kingdom,The Gospel in Revelation and The Gospel and Wisdom. He has an MA from Cambridge University and a ThM and PhD from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; Softcover Ed edition (November 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830826963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830826964
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished reading According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy. This is the book I've been waiting for since my graduation from seminary. One of the more revolutionary topics which I was taught in seminary is called Biblical Theology also known as the study of Redemptive History. I still have fond memories of wading through Vos's classic on the subject, Biblical Theology. A study of Biblical Theology opened my eyes to the consistent covenantal work of redemption accomplished by God through history. It was like reading the Bible for the first time as I saw type and antitype, promise and fulfillment, redemption accomplished and applied.

The only difficulty is that Vos's Biblical Theology is thick reading. It is certainly not something you just toss at someone and say, "Enjoy!" There should be a warning on the inside cover that reads, "Read only under the supervision of someone trained in Theology." Thus my dilemma, I wanted those under my pastoral care to understand Biblical theology but I did not have a helpful, lay-level teaching tool.

That is why I am so grateful for Goldsworthy's work. I have heard for a few years now that Goldsworthy had taken up Vos's mantle, publishing a number of very helpful books written around the theme of the Kingdom of God, found together under the title Goldswothy Trilogy: (Gospel and Kingdom, Gospel and Wisdom, Gospel and Revelation). I just had yet to read any of them. This book, According to Plan, by Goldsworthy's own admission, is intended to be a primer for his other works.
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Format: Paperback
Written from the conviction that "learning to grasp the unity of the Bible . . . is necessary for a right understanding of the meaning of any individual text" (p. 7), this introductory-level biblical theology is an excellent survey of the history of God's mighty redemptive acts as recorded in the unfolding narrative of Scripture.

Goldsworthy's stated aim is to (1) introduce his readers to an integrated theology of the Bible (2) written with a full acceptance of the full inspiration and authority of Scripture as God's Word, (3) for ordinary Christians. His work is a success.

The book is divided into four parts, answering the questions "why?", "how?", "what?" and "where?" about biblical theology. Part one is a single chapter which answers the "why?" question by raising several questions (about interpretation of problem passages, the relevance of the Old Testament to today, and whether there is a unifying theme to the Bible)which make biblical theology so necessary for believers.

Part two, the most academic part of the book (and the part most likely to intimidate Goldsworthy's intended audience of lay-people), answers the "what?" question in six chapters which introduce the foundational presuppositions which form the basis for the author's biblical-theological method. Biblical theology is compared to other forms of theology (systematic, historical, exegetical, pastoral) (chapter two), Christian theism is contrasted with secular humanism and theistic humanism (chapter three), and the nature of Scripture as God's divine-human word of revelation to man, which is focused on Christ as redeemer, is thoroughly addressed (chapters four - seven).
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Format: Paperback
In According to Plan, Goldsworthy endeavors to show the New and Old Testaments fit together. He does that, by responding to fundamental biblical questions: What is the overall story of the Bible? What is the aim of biblical theology? And what is the relationship between both testaments?

The book is the sequel of the author's two former published works. "In Gospel Kingdom," his first volume; Goldsworthy's aim was to help Christians understanding the OT Scripture through the use of biblical theology method. His subsequent works entitled "THe Gospel in Revelation and Gospel and Wisdom give a full treatment to the topic. Both books supplement his former work by showing the relationship of the OT wisdom literature and the book of Revelation. "According to Plan" completes the author's work as he demonstrates the integration of both New and Old Testament Scriptures.

To answer the first question, what is biblical theology?

It is, in effect, the study of the message of the Bible, said the author (20). Biblical theology aims the reader solves problematic passages in the Bible "by relating them to the one message of the Bible (21). Moreover, Goldsworthy believes that every part of the Bible ultimately points to the person and saving work of Christ. The overall grasp of the biblical message is essential to comprehend each text individually. He writes, "Behind this endeavor is the conviction that learning to grasp the unity of the Bible, of its one overall message from Genesis to Revelation, is necessary for a right understanding of the meaning of any individual text" (7).

Goldsworthy is correct when he writes, "Every Christian is a theologian" (30).
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