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According to Plan

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,377 ratings  ·  85 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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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,377 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Barnabas Piper
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, succinct knitting together of the full story arc and themes of scripture. I’ve never read Goldsworthy before, and I was caught off guard by the sermonic tone and clarity of this book. So helpful.
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?!
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
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
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.
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
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
Josh Williams
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the best and most practical book I’ve ever read when it comes to how to view all of scripture through the gospel as a lens. The best way to read this book is to let it set the expectations for you and look at how it answers those expectations.

This book is entry level, written for people who have a basic knowledge of the Bible but somewhat new to the faith. You don’t have to be a scholar to read this book. He offers further reading to help you if interested.

The best thing about book is
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
A good introduction to biblical theology

This book would be a good read for anyone new to the Bible. It does an excellent job of weaving together the major themes in the Bible, presenting Scripture as telling a single story. The themes of creation, re-creation and kingdom are particularly prominent. It avoids technicalities and defines teens when it needs to. It is not the most exciting or engaging read, but the short chapters with summaries at the end of each helped break it up into digestible p
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.
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.
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.
Edwin Smith
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: seminary
Not having a ton of exposure to books on Biblical Theology, this seemed like a good intro.

The best part of BT (and not just this book) is seeing how God's plan unfolds and reverberates throughout history. Seriously, when you get to Jesus, you're on the edge of your seat waiting to see what's about to happen.
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.
Jess McDonald
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first part was a plod as he tries to convince you that the Bible has a central message. Really picked up for me toward the middle and end and I think it’s a great introduction for someone who’s not familiar with biblical theology
Andy White
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-bible
A very good, slightly more in depth introduction to Biblical Theology. It's the kind of book you read then will want to come back to reference when needed, particularly the visual layouts which are very nice summaries of each chapter.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I learned so much from this book and it shaped a lot of what I already knew. I recommend reading this book slowly - it isn't a sit down and just read book. It's very dry and every sentence is loaded with information. I will have to read it a few times to glean all it's information.
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.
Pip Snort
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Coram Deo Church
According to Plan is not currently available at local libraries.
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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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