The Unity of the Bible: Unfolding God’s Plan for Humanity by Daniel Fuller
I first heard of Daniel Fuller from John Piper’s most influential book list.
I’ve read a lot, I’ve read widely. I read philosophy, worldview, conceptual books til I grew sick of them. It isn’t often that a book causes a dramatic shift in my entire understanding of things, starting with the foundation with implications all the way up to my day to day life. The Unity of the Bible is one of those books. It started a little bit slow, in my opinion, with its evaluation of other religions, though already there were little gleams of the remarkable insights that were to follow. The chapters on the Old and New Testament canons had some gems.
The most significant and revolutionary section of this book for me was Part 2: The Foundations of Redemptive History. Interestingly, this is the section of the book that is most saturated with the thought of Jonathan Edwards. Chapters on The Trinity, on Creation, on Obedient Faith, on Hell, were filled with incredible insights. I saw the Trinity like I’ve never seen it before. It has been a long time since I’ve had my understanding of theology and the Bible expanded so dramatically and rapidly as reading through this part. And then I came to Chapter 14: The Riches of God’s Mercy From the Cross. I thought I had a pretty good, theologically informed understanding of the gospel, the cross of Christ, grace and mercy. And then I read this chapter and it was almost too much to take, as I began to see the cross through the lens of God’s grand unifying theme that has been building from eternity past and continues through creation on into eternity future.
Part 3 covers Israel, and Part 4 the coming of Christ.
This was my first serious exposure to the concepts involved in understanding “redemptive history.” There was so much that I missed on a first reading of this book, I can’t wait to read it again to make an attempt to grasp those things that I labeled “too deep,” on my first reading.
This book was also my first large-scale introduction to Jonathan Edwards. Edwards is the most quoted source in the entire book, by far. In this book, Edwardsean thought comes in the form of a massive Bible survey, following the flow of redemptive history, with the central theme being the glory of God.
The appendix, “The Nature of the Mosaic Law” is also found in a greatly expanded book of its own: Gospel & Law: Contrast or Continuum?, which I also highly recommend.