The Bible in 50 Minutes | Mike Fuller
This week we were joined by Mike Fuller who, over many years, has honed and refined a presentation of the whole story of the Bible in just 50 minutes. Mike wends his way through the characters and stories of the Old and New Testaments placing them in context both within the Bible and history. Mike culminates at the end of the New Testament, where the the book ends, but the Church's story continues. This is an audio recording of the talk Mike gave at B&A, have your Bible handy and a finger in the contents page!
The whole Bible is available online for free in several translations from biblegateway.com.
For more info about Mike and the work he does, please visit his website.
The Bible in Fifty Minutes
Putting the Bible into fifty minutes is quite a feat. It means focussing on the over-arching theme running from beginning to end, which sometimes we can lose sight of when we are reading one particular book of the Bible, or getting bogged down in lots of details.
The theme stood out clearly: the story of God’s purpose in creating us at the very beginning for a loving relationship with him, each other and the world around us, and of his rescue plan when we rebelled, preferring to do things our own way. ‘Covenants’ - agreements or contracts between God and his people - stand out in this story like milestones along the road. Some were unconditional on God’s part. Others were conditional on his people being obedient to the laws he gave them. Unfortunately time and again they broke the covenants through their disobedience.
Finally, with Jesus’ death and resurrection came the covenant we live under today: an unconditional (but conditional) one. God unconditionally offers us the gift of being freed from sin and death through Jesus’ sacrifice, and coming home to him – but this gift is conditional on us receiving it. He holds it back from nobody, but if we don’t recognise the sacrifice that’s been made and turn in faith to Christ, the gift is offered but not received.
The fifty-minute Bible is a great way of telling the story that we are all part of. But a much longer way of reading gradually through the Bible lets us explore all the riches that are in there, especially if we use some Bible notes to help us (eg ‘Bible in one year’).
Karl Barth saw the Bible as the way God speaks to us, particularly through the prophets and the apostles. He writes: ‘the Bible unfolds to us as we are met, guided, drawn on, and made to grow by the grace of God.’ That too is a gift which we can either ignore or gladly start unwrapping! Do we want to hear God speak? – open a Bible and start listening!