The Story of Everything: How You, Your Pets, and the Swiss Alps Fit into God’s Plan for the World by Jared C. Wilson
The title alone begs one to dive straight headlong into this book. For those of you familiar with Jared C. Wilson, The Storytelling God and The Prodigal Church are some of my favorite books of his. His passion for seeing God’s glory shower over all creation and central focus on Jesus Christ is admirable in many ways. In this new book, The Story of Everything, Jared takes a wider angle lens and looks at the most significant events in the Scripture as providing a solid paradigm for a robust biblical theology. The book is accessible, winsome and chalk full of good news for every believer.
One of the important points that Jared makes in his book concerns Genesis 1-2 and creation. Often we see this story of beginnings as relevant to the beginning of the story and the end of the story, but fail to see how Genesis 1-2 is consistently used as a whole Bible theme. Jared writes,
“Genesis 1 lays the foundation for the truth about God and all his ways. It tells us: Yes, there is a God. He is very powerful. He made you and he made everything. But it also shows us that anything we want to know about anything must in some way go back to Genesis 1 and 2. Genesis 1 and 2 is an anchor, a foundation, a template for all that is good and orderly in the world. Genesis 1 and 2’s creation accounts are the source of all good theology. The Ten Commandments, for example, are sourced in Genesis 1 and 2 when they tell us not to have any other gods and when they tell us to rest from our works on the Sabbath. When John introduces us to the truth about Jesus in John 1, he goes back to Genesis 1 to place the Son of God at the scene of creation (47).”
Thus, Genesis 1 is paradigmatic for understanding creation, the oneness of God, the polemic of the Pentateuch, the Sabbath, and Jesus. If we begin to read the Bible with a wide angle lens we will not miss the import of Genesis 1 for the whole Bible.
Secondly, Jared positively helps us understand culture, its meaning, and our relationship towards it. He notes, “The problem is not so much with “culture” per se. It is with people and the kind of worship with which they drive their cultural influence (86).” Genesis 4.20-22 provides the genesis of culture-making, technology, animal husbandry and yet as Lamech bears witness to, we have corrupted the good that God has made with sin, twisting the good aims of creation for destructive ones. Jared helpfully uses the phrase “and the kind of worship with which they drive” to signal that every cultural entity is moving either toward God and his glory or away, there is no neutral ground with respect to aims of worship.
This is a very thought provoking and enjoyable book. Jared covers God’s plan for evil, pain, and fun by looking closely at Genesis and giving us a whole Bible look at these issues. You will find much to be nourished by in this book.
Thanks to Crossway for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.