The Story of Scripture

As we begin in Genesis and Mark, I want to start with an encouragement to not get bogged down in the trees and lose a sense of the whole forest.  Rather, when you have a sense of the story as a whole, each part will make more sense for its fit in the story.  

This year, I'll be using Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart's resource How to Read the Bible Book By Book.  They have a wonderful introduction to the story.  It provides a great overview - a picture of the forest as a whole:

"First, let’s be clear: The Bible is not merely some divine guidebook, nor is it a mine of propositions to be believed or a long list of commands to be obeyed. True, one does receive plenty of guidance from it, and it does indeed contain plenty of true propositions and divine directives. But the Bible is infinitely more than that.

"It is no accident that the Bible comes to us primarily by way of narrative— but not just any narrative. Here we have the grandest narrative of all— God’s own story. That is, it does not purport to be just one more story of humankind’s search for God. No, this is God’s story, the account of his search for us, a story essentially told in four chapters: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. In this story, God is the divine protagonist, Satan the antagonist, God’s people the agonists (although too often also the antagonists), with redemption and reconciliation as the plot resolution."

Fee, Gordon D.; Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour (pp. 14-15). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.