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According to Plan

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,226 ratings  ·  80 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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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,226 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Martin Beamer
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: bible, theology
This book was an easy and encouraging read (as it was intended). I love that Goldsworthy is writing for the lay person to understand the bible. I also love his commitment to the metanarrative of Scripture to help us to understand the parts of it. The bible is one book with one primary message that all points to Christ. Loved it.

My biggest frustration is the lack of discussion of the church. How can you have a biblical theology without the church? How can one of your categories of biblical theol
Ryan Linkous
Dec 16, 2012 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
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
Becky Pliego
Loved it even though we hold different eschatological views.

Just one question... why such an ugly cover for such a fine book?!
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
A great introduction to Biblical theology that helps you see the whole narrative of Scripture.
Nov 25, 2013 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 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
Dianne Oliver
Jul 29, 2012 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 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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Nov 06, 2011 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.
Scott Moonen
Feb 12, 2010 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.
Patrick Lacson
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a classic in the redemptive-historical tradition of biblical theology and hermeneutics. Being late to the game, I finally read this classic book.

I appreciate the connections made by Goldsworthy and his use of the well-received paradigm which he calls "The Pattern of the Kingdom" that is divided into four movements: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. I appreciate his definition of Biblical Theology as "the study of the unity of the message of the Bible."

I understand there are many
Jonathan Brooker
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another re-read from back in my college days, but I'm glad that I did! Though it's written specifically as a starter book to biblical theology it's not a terribly easy read due to the author's writing style. However, it is introductory in its size and scope and it does a wonderful job in that of bringing the reader to an essential perspective of seeing the Bible as one large story rather than a variety of miscellaneous pieces and stories. It's systematically laid out to offer not only the explan ...more
Troy Solava
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the theology in this book. It taught me to be a better "biblical theologian" and interpreter of the Old Testament. However, I gave it 3 stars for it seems to me to be hard to follow. Though the main part of the book is chronological, he seems to skip around themes rather than immerse himself in the select few. Though I loved his comments on regeneration in a cosmic sense, the rest seemed to be random tidbits of theological themes. Also, it is highly repetitive and could be short ...more
Greg Reimer
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
According to Plan is a great aid for understanding the over-arching narrative of the Bible. It is written in short chapters that cover the themes and progression of each section of the Bible. I found I didn't agree with all the conclusions of the introductory chapters (particularly when it came to how truth is known), but I understand that Graeme was laying a needed foundation for the chapters that followed. This book was an encouragement to me and helped me understand the Bible as a cohesive bo ...more
Stephen Drew
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent theological resource

According to Plan is a method of biblical theology anchored in the doctrine of progressive revelation. It is a compelling case of the necessity of considering redemptive history in biblical interpretation. Goldsworthy makes the statement near the end that learning to think through this framework will result in an entirely new way of engaging the Bible and indeed it does. This is a mid-level theology well worth the time to read.
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
From the little I have read and studied in Biblical Theology, this appears to be a solid introduction. Goldsworthy helps connect the overarching narrative of Scripture, providing a framework from which to engage in further studies. The writing is a bit dry, and at times I found it tedious to work through. This is not the same as saying that it was a dense or difficult read; rather, as Goldsworthy straddles the difference between lay and academic writing, he errs slightly on the academic side.
Philip Taylor
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Richly suggestive material from Goldsworthy as ever. It should be read, discussed, agreed with, disagreed with, etc, by every Christian but particularly those who have any sort of teaching responsibility. The first section on scripture is perhaps a tad under developed but the aim of the book is to be a guide rather than the last word.
Josh Hamon
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is great as an overview of theology but is so light on explanation/ support that it can be thought to swallow at times. It’s left out in an effort to make the book more accessible but it means that it speaks with authority that feels like it’s coming out of thin air.
Courtney Schmidt
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A helpful introduction to Biblical Theology for the layperson. A bit simple at times but a great reminder of the gospel throughout all of redemptive history.
Pip Snort
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, owned
Graeme Goldsworthy has set out the framework for understanding God's Big Picture in a clear way, that is easily understood. A basic theology book for any Christian.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
v. helpful overview of biblical theology through the lens of covenant and kingdom themes.
Nathan Graham
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must read for Christians who want a better understanding of Biblical Theology. Totally changes the way you read and understand the Bible. Really helps you get an idea of God’s big picture plan.
Rob Steinbach
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yep... read it!
Paul S. Finch
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much need overview

Every believer ought to read this book for a more comprehensive view of God’s sweeping plan throughout historical, redemptive history.
Dan Curnutt
Mar 03, 2011 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 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 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
Gregory Strong
Jul 14, 2016 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 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
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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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