Skip to main content

The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense Out of Life by Justin Buzzard






The Big Story by Justin Buzzard

How does the Bible relate to life and why does it matter to us?  These questions are at the heart of Pastor Justin Buzzard’s mind as he takes us the world of the bible and its story.  Divided into five acts and eight chapters, The Big Story takes us into the larger narrative at work in the Bible starting with Jesus and ending with Life.  The five acts that Justin describes follow this order: God, Creation, Rebellion, Rescue, and Home.  Using insights from biblical and systematic theology, culture, and his own life, Justin weaves together a powerful case for the overarching story of the Bible centered upon Jesus and how God is making all things new.

Writing from a Silicon Valley context where work is king and ideas are bandied about, Justin gets to the heart of the issues pretty quick.  In thinking about belief in God by writing, “But if you don’t believe in the God of the Bible, the Trinitarian, happy God, then you have to believe in something else that requires just as much (if not more) faith.” (30)  Often, it takes more faith to believe in systems such as atheism or eastern philosophy because they ask you to give up your quest for answering truth by sticking to a concrete system of answers devoid of mystery.  Justin commends a view of God as happy and not needing our existence to complete his being but offering his perfect love to us by creating us.  Furthermore, “Becoming a Christian, choosing to believe the Big Story, is simply a matter of getting serious about the pursuit of happiness.  It’s a matter of ditching the cheap pleasures that never satisfied in order to experience the happiness that we are designed to enjoy.” (33)  Happiness in fellowship God is what we’re after, not a happiness dependent upon our bank accounts or life’s circumstances.

Justin has a wonderful way of describing grace that will help Christians from all backgrounds better imbibe the gospel.  He writes, “This reminds us that followers of Jesus, those who know the reality of His grace, are called to go into the world and help these people know that same grace, to know Jesus.  Followers of Jesus should be a community that is like the party from this parable – a celebration of grace that draws people in with joy, hope, and gladness.” (106)  Grace is not a one-time event we experience and then put in our hip pockets, but an overflowing abundant gift we share with others out of the sheer grace that we have received.  We are all prodigals and the Lord has called each believer to himself by grace, and oh are we thankful for this!!  The ending section of the chapter on Rescue is important because it asks the question, “What kind of stories do people tell about how to fix their brokenness?”  I think this question is important because quick fixes are inevitable in our culture, even when they cause devastating results.  Secondly, the gospel is no quick fix but a message to let down your striving and receive God’s glorious grace.  Too many times we make people are amazed that they don’t have to offer up anything for God’s grace but empty hands.

I really enjoyed this book and hope you will enjoy it also.  Further chapters focus on the resurrection, God making all things new, and how we are supposed to live now that we know the Big Story.  With keen insights and biblically faithful encouragement, Justin blazes a clear path to understand God’s story. 


Thanks to Moody Publishers for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…