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Welcome to the Story: Reading, Loving, and Living God's Word Paperback – July 7, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Welcome to the Story reads, well, like a story—full of many interesting and important characters. The reader will find intrigue and mystery, striking beauty and hideous ugliness, noble and courageous heroes along with wicked and contemptible villains, all depicting the richness and sweeping breadth of this story. Along the way, one encounters many testimonials from others who likewise have been involved in this story, and the reader is invited to consider how he or she also should enter this story. In the end, Nichols shows how this story is the Story of all stories, since its central character is none other than the King who is over all kings, the Creator and Author of the story in which He plays the leading part. I encourage you to read this story, enter the story, and join in making this Story—the Story above all stories—your story.”
Bruce A. Ware, T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Nichols has written a delightful and inviting book on how to understand and live out the Bible. The storyline of the Scriptures is sketched in, and the book is full of wise advice on how to read and live out what God requires. I recommend the book with enthusiasm.”
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

About the Author

Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (July 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433522306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433522307
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William D. Curnutt VINE VOICE on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There have been many books written regarding how to read the Bible, how to understand what you read and how to learn to love the Word of God. This short work by Stephen Nichols is along that line and is a good tool for new Christians as well as those who have known Christ for a long time. I think also that it will be a good resource tool for those who teach Sunday School or lead a small group Bible study.

There is nothing new nor profound in what Stephen writes, but he does bring it in a very refreshing way as he walks us through the totality of scripture and describes the best way to understand the Bible. He starts by pointing out that any good book has a beginning, a middle and an ending, as well as a consistent plot line. Well then he points out that the Holy Bible is consistent with that concept. It falls under the outline of A. Creation, B. The Fall, C. Redemption and D. Restoration.

Nichols points out that the Bible begins with Creation. God created a perfect environment for man to live in and to have fellowship with him. But very quickly after the creation we have The Fall of man into sin. That happens just three chapters into the book, literally just a couple of pages into the story. The Fall is the problem that occurs and the rest of the Bible is the story to tell us how God is going to redeem for Himself a people whom He can call his own and then provide them with the restoration of the sweet fellowship He desires with them.

On page 44 Nichols gives us a definition of 'sin' that helps us to see what the problem of the story is and what has occurred that causes the story to have to take a certain path. Nichols goes on to point out on page 46, that "we live in a culture that seems rather content to ignore our true condition.
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Format: Paperback
In his book Disciple: Getting Your Identity From Jesus Bill Clem shares an analogy where he compares three drama students starring in a play they perform in their garage with a drama student auditioning for a small part in a Broadway play in New York. The difference between the two scenarios is the one student even with a walk-on part being part of something huge. The other students are delusional "believing their vision of the way things could be is the way things actually are". He compares this analogy to the difference between inviting God into our little stories or being offered whatever role in God's epic unfolding drama. Clem says,

"Our personal story is actually a distortion of reality and a desire for significance. God's story is reality, and significance can be ours with even a walk-on bit part, because pleasing and glorifying the Creator is the most significant experience offered to created beings." Clem, Disciple, 15)

It's not only our personal stories that can be distortions of reality. Our reading and understanding of Scripture can suffer from the same distortion. Yes, God's story is about us. It is about our creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. but that is our part in the story. More than our story the Bible is the story of God and we play bit-part's in it.

Stephen J. Nichols has written Welcome to the Story with the hopes of inviting readers to "enter in, to participate in, the story of the Bible". Nichols traces the Bible's plotline of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration, then he starts teaching a street-level hermeneutics course.

That's really what this book is: a street-level hermeneutics course. I have been looking for this book for quite some time. I love Goldsworthy's books outlining God's story.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I was in Bible College, we had two classes which covered a survey of the Old Testament and a survey of the New Testament. This book, "Welcome to the Story: Reading, Loving, and Living God's Word", is a very condensed survey of the whole Bible.

One of the things that I appreciated about the author is the use of quotes at the beginning of the chapters and throughout. A sampling of the quotes are below...

- "We are torn out of our own existance and set down in the midst of the holy history of God on earth", (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

- "Christianity means community", (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

- "Only in the Holy Scripture do we learn to know our own history", (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

- "You have made us for Yourself and we are restless until we find our rest in you", (St. Augustine).

- "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word
darkness on the walls of his cell", (C.S. Lewis).

Now let's get to the meat of the book that you are interested in!

As the author says, "The story of the Bible is not only the greatest story and not only the truest story. It is also the only story that makes sense of our lives. To put it another way, the Bible has existential significance. The Bible gives meaning to all our lives and every inch of our lives. It alone make sense of what happens to us. The Bible alone makes sense of all the confounding and confusing things we experience."

Then the Bible is broke into a few sections for the reader to consider. Its story line is...

1. Creation
2. Fall
3. Redemption
4. Restoration

The author spends the rest of the book expounding upon the storyline above.
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