Bird’s Eye View of Paul (5): stories behind the story

I’m enjoying this Michael Bird’s book –A Bird’s Eye View of Paul – very readable, concise and focused on the big stuff. Designed as an accessible guide to Paul and it does the job well.

Chapter 3 has a lot packed in as it looks at some of the key themes of Paul’s theology – the stories within the big story of God’s redemptive purposes.

This big story, or grand narrative unfolds this way according to Bird:

is the story of creation and new creation or of the journey from Eden to New Jerusalem. The main chapters of that story are ‘God and creation’, ‘Adam and Christ’, ‘Abraham’, ‘Israel’, ‘Jesus’ and ‘the Church’.

I’m going to do a few short posts on each and ask a question with each one.

1. God and Creation:

Paul is profoundly and deeply theocentric – God appears 153 times in Romans for example: God is creator, is judge, gives life, searches the heart, is eternal, is one, is wise, is the only true God, the gospel is of God.

The sub-story of God and creation is all about how humanity and creation itself  is marred and tainted by sin, alienated from God. God’s redemptive purpose is to restore and liberate humanity and creation to glory “through the revelation of his righteousness in the death and resurrection of Christ.”

What part does ‘God and Creation’ play in your understanding of ‘what is the gospel’? Or more specifically, what place does a renewed creation have in how you understand the gospel?


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