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According to Plan

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  1,000 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The massive diversity and complexity of the Bible can make it a daunting project for anyone to tackle. Getting a grasp on the unity of the Bible, its central message from Genesis to Revelation, helps immensely in understanding the meaning of any one book or passage. That is the goal of this book by Graeme Goldsworthy.
How do the Old and New Testaments fit together?
What is t
Paperback, 251 pages
Published October 10th 2002 by IVP Academic (first published 1991)
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Jack Hayne That is a great question. I won't be able to give you specific places to look in your Bible. But Ladd's Presence of the Future is a very concise and…moreThat is a great question. I won't be able to give you specific places to look in your Bible. But Ladd's Presence of the Future is a very concise and fleshed out view of the Kingdom. I would argue that the Church is part of the Kingdom. It witnesses the kingdom to the world. A reason for this is Jesus inaugurates the Kingdom of God but the church doesn't exist yet. The church does not grow the Kingdom. The Kingdom is also dynamic. Hope that helps.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ryan Linkous
Dec 16, 2012 Ryan Linkous rated it liked it
Helpful book from Graeme Goldsworthy to introduce those who've never been exposed to Bible Theology:

What I liked:
-Goldsworthy things very theologically so it may be helpful for someone new to theology or who is familiar with theology but has never seen it organized "around the Bible." It's especially helpful to think through the "episodes" of each chapter to consider how the larger Bible story fits together.
-Goldsworthy's emphasis on the Kingdom of God is helpful, especially to link the importan
Feb 12, 2017 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
A great introduction to Biblical theology that helps you see the whole narrative of Scripture.
Dianne Oliver
Jul 29, 2012 Dianne Oliver rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
A great biblical overview that covered well the lines of God's chosen people- and what we can learn from these OT stories. (election, grace found in the OT, foreshadowing of Christ). I felt it was a solid review and there were things that I previously did not 'get' or think through. I found it interesting that the Jews are not all of Israel, but only the line of Judah, which were in part of Israel. That there were saved and unsaved people within the chosen people, and the reasons for their seemi ...more
Sep 27, 2014 Coyle rated it really liked it
"Overall, this is an excellent volume that serves as a clear introduction to a difficult subject. Goldsworthy is a skilled writer who clearly knows this discipline forward and backward. If there is a criticism here, it’s that there is so much information presented so many ways—the busyness of the book can get a bit overwhelming."

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Scott Moonen
Feb 12, 2010 Scott Moonen rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Liked it, but the main value for me was that it reminded me of all the great stuff in Vos.
Jack Hayne
Feb 03, 2017 Jack Hayne rated it really liked it
A great introduction book to Biblical Theology. For people who have read a bit more on Biblical Theology it might be worth reading because of the concise way Goldsworthy frames the book. Wish I would have read this sooner.
Dan Curnutt
Mar 03, 2011 Dan Curnutt rated it it was amazing
A fellow pastor here on staff suggested that I read this book by Graeme Goldsworthy. I am so happy that he did. This book easily fulfills Goldsworthy's stated purpose of, "to introduce the reader to an integrated theology of the whole Bible." Each chapter walks you through another aspect of God's design in the Bible of "making Himself known" to man. I have looked for a good primary text that would help my Bible students understand the Bible as a whole and the message that it is attempting to del ...more
Aug 03, 2008 Zachary rated it liked it
Goldsworthy has written an excellent text outlining Biblical Theology in According to Plan. For anyone unfamiliar with Biblical Theology, this is an excellent introduction. Though he doesn't dive in too deep, Goldsworthy has definitely covered the basics.

A majority of the book is taken up by an outline of the Bible - connecting the theological points, if you will. This he does by working his way from Genesis to Revelation. It may seem like a lot, but Biblical Theology is focused upon connecting
Aug 19, 2009 Ben rated it liked it
This book was my first introduction to "Biblical Theology." Although the book was interesting, it felt more like a running commentary of a Bible survey. All in all the book didn't stick out in any significant way. I also felt like the author grossly overlooked the Biblical background / support for certain "themes" in a few instances, and even ignored a few completely while making a passing statement that he had already covered the topic.

On the other hand, if the author were to treat all themes
Nov 25, 2013 Holly rated it it was ok
While the content was worthwhile, the writing style was so plodding and awkward the only reason I finished the book was because it was assigned reading by our pastor. (The other assigned book, Abraham's Four Seeds, was so fun that I couldn't wait to pick it back up between readings.) I absolutely had to soldier through the first two sections of this book. The third and fourth sections were significantly better, though they were still riddled with fragments and lost trains of thought. I think the ...more
Jul 16, 2012 R.B. rated it it was ok
I just read this in a sitting, mostly because the chapters are very short. This is an assigned text I have for D.A. Carson's class in the fall, so I am trying to read ahead. This is most definitely an intro to Biblical Theology, if you have already been exposed to good Biblical Theology this will not add anything new to you that you don't already know. The information is solid and concise, which makes it gloss over a lot and, like I said, it has short chapters. For me it was more of a demonstrat ...more
Gregory Strong
Jul 14, 2016 Gregory Strong rated it liked it
This book consists of a fine introduction to and overview of biblical theology. What is the Bible? How should we read it? Is it only a set of diverse materials and ideas written by many people over nearly 1000 years, later collected into one book but with no center or unity? Or is there a center or unity (whether simple or complex) that spans and threads through the various materials? Goldsworthy, deeply learned in biblical studies, argues for a biblical theology: for a unity which comprehends y ...more
Dwight Davis
Oct 04, 2012 Dwight Davis rated it liked it
This is a hard book to rate. I think it's ultimately helpful for those who have next to no understanding of biblical theology (the intended audience as stated by Goldsworthy). However, there are some troubling epistemological assumptions behind the work that I think are dangerous to those who are uninformed (the intended audience of this work as stated by Goldsworthy). So I think I would recommend this book to anyone starting with chapter 8 which is where Goldsworthy actually begins to explore t ...more
Corey Hampton
May 24, 2015 Corey Hampton rated it really liked it
This is a great little introductory biblical theology book. I recommend it for high school students, as I wish that I was introduced to biblical theology quicker than I was. It is very accessible, so it can easily be read as an introductory book for a church or small group as well.

If you're quite familiar with biblical theology and would like to go a little deeper, you could be helped by this volume, but I would recommend Geerhard Vos' "Biblical Theology" or John Bright's "The Kingdom of God."
Kevin Ashby
Jan 16, 2014 Kevin Ashby rated it it was amazing
A wonderful introduction to how God has revealed himself in scripture. Goldsworthy walks you through the scripture chronologically to show that the God of the old testament is the God of the new testament - and his plan has been unfolding since before the beginning of time. I have never better grasped the unity of scripture and the completeness of Gods plan better. Highly recommended for new and old Christians alike. He comes at the issue from a reformed theological perspective so keep that in m ...more
Wyatt Harris
Sep 03, 2012 Wyatt Harris rated it it was ok
Fairly simple and an almost over-generalization of the Bible as a whole. I guess it is supposed to be an introduction to a Biblical Theology, most likely for someone who has never dealt with the topic, and I was probably frustrated and bored when reading it. I would recommend two other books that do similar things: The Epic of Eden by Sandra Richter and As Far As the Curse is Found by Michael Williams. These two books do a much better job and are of similar length. I think Goldsworthy assumes to ...more
Apr 12, 2011 Taylor rated it liked it
I wanted a primer before diving into Vos, but this was a little too far removed I think. If you've never had any contact with Biblical Theology this is probably a good place to start. If you've been exposed to it before, even just by sitting under good redemptive/historical preaching, there's not going to be a lot new here for you.

This would work well as a small group or youth group study for Christians wanting to go a little deeper in their Biblical understanding and haven't had a lot of exposu
Sydney Herron
Jun 13, 2016 Sydney Herron rated it it was amazing
While I found According to Plan difficult to begin, once I made it through the first chapter or so I loved this book. Goldsworthy outlines biblical theology through the lens of how all of Scripture is conencted and relates to the gospel - the central message of the Bible. This book is a great place to start for someone who wants to dive deeper into biblical theology and think about the message of the Bible as a whole.
Apr 14, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
This is a great introduction of biblical theology for 'ordinary' Christians, devoid of 'unnecessary technicalities. His presentation goes from Genesis to Revelation in clear words which stress the unity of the bible and the unifying theme of Christ the center of it all.
The suggested readings and study questions at the end of each chapter make this a text for an extended Sunday School series.
My advice is "Tolle Lege" take up and read!
Oct 10, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
This book tied together the Bible for me. While I read it a while ago and may not now agree with all the details, it was the book that really introduced me to biblical theology and the idea that the Bible is telling ONE central story, rather than being a collection of tales, moral examples, chronicles, and some really important stuff. It revolutionized my view of Scripture and helped me realize it's all about Christ.
Yoel Ben David
Apr 11, 2013 Yoel Ben David rated it it was ok
Shelves: what-i-do
This book does a lot more than suggest you focus in on the main theme of the bible as you read or teach your way through. Goldsworthy is essentially reading Jesus into the Old Testament even when he is not there. While the Old Testament points to Messiah quite clearly, reading Jesus into passages that do not clearly point to him does the message of the Gospel more damage than good.
Oct 22, 2016 Madi rated it really liked it
Shelves: college
I didn't read the whole book, but the sections that I had to read for a college course were very well written. Goldsworthy did a good job at explaining concepts in ways that your average Christian (as opposed to a theologian) could understand without downplaying the importance and weight of the topics.
Tanya Johnson
This is a different way to study theology. It guides you through each doctrine through a timeline starting in Creation and ending in Revelation. It is challenging and the questions at the end of each chapter are worth discussing with someone. This book was my subject outline for Theology during my diploma year at bible college.
Nov 06, 2011 Barry rated it liked it
Shelves: bible
This is a good book, but it took me a while to figure out what the author was doing in it. After I figured it out I really liked it, but after I finished reading it I realized I didn't get that much out of it. Maybe if I read it again knowing from the beginning what he was doing I would get more out of it. All in all, I liked it, but it wasn't a life changing book.
Jul 25, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I should have read it years ago when it was first recommended to me! Brings the whole bible together as a single unfolding account. The unexpected part is that this big picture overview turns out to have heaps of very practical implications, and has helped clarify some questions I have long had in the "find out later" category.
Sep 16, 2015 Joanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get into it. Maybe I will come back one day. I have the hardest time finding Christian books that are the right level of depth for me. On the one hand, my previous knowledge is pretty high. On the other, the amount of time and focus that I am willing to devote every day is on the low side.
May 18, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
Excellent introduction to biblical theology. The themes of the Kingdom of God and the covenant are developed throughout the book. He may be more covenantal than I am, but the focus on how Scripture supports this theme was really good.

I liked his emphasis on the need to start with the New Testament, go back to the Old, and then back to the New.

Great book.
Dejuan Brown
Mar 01, 2011 Dejuan Brown rated it really liked it
Great book that shows how all of Scripture points to Christ. The Gospel event is the central event that ties both Old and New Testaments together. Goldsworthy does a marvelous job of showing how God's plan unfolds from Genesis to Revelation! I highly recommend this for those who wonder how the Bible "works."
Dec 28, 2009 Amanda is currently reading it
This is my second read of this book - I got lost the first time. Excellent approach to understanding the whole of the Bible and very helpful in how it aligns with the teaching at Youth Leadership Conference/Biblical theology. This will be a book to keep coming back to.
Daniel Thomas
Jun 08, 2016 Daniel Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, 2016
Goldsworthy's work in "According to Plan" is easy to understand, and makes the reader think through their approach to biblical history. A goldmine for anyone interested in the study of Biblical Theology.
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  • God's Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible
  • Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution
  • God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment: A Biblical Theology
  • Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments
  • The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
  • Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry
  • Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible
  • From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
  • Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants
  • The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
  • The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
  • The Christ of the Covenants
  • Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
  • The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments
  • Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament: A Decision-Maker's Guide to Shaping Your Church
  • Christ and Culture Revisited
  • The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story
  • 40 Questions About Interpreting The Bible (40 Questions & Answers Series)
Graeme Goldsworthy is an Australian Anglican and Old Testament scholar. Now retired, Goldsworthy was formerly lecturer in Old Testament, biblical theology and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of "According to Plan" (IVP, 1991), "Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture" (Eerdmans, 2000) and "Proverbs: The Tree of Life" (CEP, 1993). Goldsworth ...more
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“Sovereignty means exercising kingly power. We use the word in relation to God meaning that there is absolutely nothing that he does not control.” 1 likes
“The incarnation (becoming flesh) of God is at the very center of the gospel event by which God restores the true relationship between himself and the human race.” 0 likes
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