In The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words, Chris Bruno takes readers on a journey through Scripture to discover the central message of the Bible. Bruno asserts that the Bible’s message revolves around the mission of God which is to proclaim His glory through saving a people for Himself. To prove his point, the author highlights sixteen terms that serve as a framework that we can use to understand the Bible’s grand storyline in a unified manner. Undoubtedly, those who are familiar with the Bible would recognize and agree with the vast majority of the selected terms including “covenant” and “Messiah” as being core biblical themes of the Bible. On the other hand, some of the words are more intriguing such as “wisdom” and “land” which would likely be challenging for most readers to see the immediate connection between the word and the Bible’s message. In addition to explaining the significance of each term, Bruno ends each chapter with two connecting Old and New Testament verses and a summary thought that concludes how the term relates to the overall message of the Bible. In considering all the terms presented, one curious omission is the word “cross” which I would regard as being integral to the story of the Bible. I would argue for the inclusion of this term as the cross is the instrument by which God accomplishes His mission to redeem a people for Himself through Christ’s death on the cross in which we attain forgiveness for our trespasses thereby declaring us righteous before God. It is because of the cross that we have resurrection hope whereby we will one day ceaselessly and perfectly worship and glorify God forever. Thus, it would seem appropriate to include the cross as being a crucial term to understanding the message of the Bible.
I would gladly recommend this accessible introduction to understanding the Bible’s story and how we play our roles in it. What makes Bruno’s book engaging is that in every chapter, he makes the connection between the Old and New Testaments which allows readers to appreciate the continuity of God’s written revelation as a reflection of His divine authorship of this beautiful story. Moreover, the author connects all these terms to Jesus as the One who ultimately fulfills the mission of God and redeems His elect to join Him. Although the book assumes some knowledge of the Christian faith, the material is straightforward and even mature Christians will benefit from learning how to trace the biblical storyline to edify their study of Scripture. Furthermore, this collection of terms could be used as a tool for evangelism enabling us to more effectively present the gospel message in a concise and organized way.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a review copy of this book from Crossway.