We often explore individual passages of Scripture without seeing the whole. A verse may be inspiring and easy to grasp, but the sweeping context is often difficult and requires persistence. To understand the breadth of the gospel's message, we need to perceive the full tapestry of Scripture with its theological themes woven together. Otherwise, we miss the scope of what Jesus is doing in the New Testament, gaining mere glimpses of his activity or teaching but missing their significance.
Gary M. Burge aims to weave this larger tapestry so that each part of the story takes on richer meaning. Using seven key sentences drawn straight from the New Testament, Burge demonstrates how the themes of fulfillment, kingdom, cross, grace, covenant, spirit, and completion set a theological rhythm for our faith. The seven include
These sentences are not only individually inspiring, but they outline the broader pattern of Scripture that illustrates what God has done—and is bringing to fulfillment—in Christ.
The accessible primers in the Introductions in Seven Sentences collection act as brief introductions to an academic field, with simple organization: seven key sentences that give readers a birds-eye view of an entire discipline.
"Burge gives us a panoramic vision of some of the major themes in the Scriptures in this wonderfully accessible book. Sometimes we plunge into reading the Scriptures without an understanding of its larger story line, and we all know that it is difficult to understand the parts of a story without having a grasp of the whole picture. Burge unpacks the meaning of the Messiah, cross, Spirit, and new creation, along with other central themes. This book is a great tool for personal reading, for group studies, and for preachers and students."
"Burge wakes up his readers to the provocation that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That which many modern readers assume as commonplace (i.e. Jesus came to die on a cross for my sins), shocked the beliefs and lives of the first Christians. With rootedness in history and careful attention to the beauty of the text, Burge invites readers to do the hard—and very good—work of understanding the overarching message of the Christian faith."
"To sum up the New Testament in seven sentences seems a daunting task. Gary Burge succeeds in doing so by engaging its story. He draws on seven central New Testament statements to retell the story of God's work in Christ. In the process, he widens the lens to show how the entire biblical story culminates in Jesus' person and work. It is an accessible and inviting book!"
"Gary Burge's aptly chosen seven sentences and words show clearly that the New Testament is not just a book full of doctrines, promises, or ethics, but has to be understood within the overarching grand narrative of the Bible as a whole, from creation to new creation. Within that framework he helps us understand the cultural and religious context into which God entered in Jesus of Nazareth, the starkly surprising and challenging nature of 'the good news' that Jesus and his apostles preached, and the glorious future that God's mission will accomplish for the whole creation. However well you think you know your New Testament, this will help you see it through fresh eyes and gain many new insights in the process."
"Gary Burge is the best of communicators. He lays out the central message of the New Testament with such clarity and insight that those who read this work will close the cover and wonder why they had not heard the gospel this way before. Burge makes the best of New Testament studies accessible while never talking down as he brings each reader up to understand the depths of God's wonder-filled work in Christ. Read, reflect, and rejoice!"