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The Unity of the Bible: Unfolding God's Plan for Humanity [Paperback]

By Daniel Fuller (Author)
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Item description for The Unity of the Bible: Unfolding God's Plan for Humanity by Daniel Fuller...

"This book could well become a theological classic. It is written in non-technical language and is thus within the grasp of serious laypersons. It provides deeply edifying devotional reading because it is saturated with Scripture."--Ajith Fernando.

Publishers Description

"Professor Daniel P. Fuller raises questions concerning the unity of the Bible which few are willing to ask. His interesting findings will provoke serious study of the Bible for all those who seek to edify the church and train men and women for positions of leadership." -Oscar Cullmann "No book besides the Bible has had a greater influence on my life than Daniel Fuller's Unity of the Bible. When I first read it as a classroom syllabus over twenty years ago, everything began to change. . . . It changed my life because it is so honest. No hard questions are dodged. No troubling texts are swept under the rug. There is a passion for seeing all of Scripture with no reference to how one part fits with another. Too much academic labor passes for mature scholarship while dealing only piecemeal with the reality of God's work in redemptive history. Daniel Fuller has given his life to seeing the connections and pursuing the coherence of 'the whole counsel of God.'" -John Piper "A rich mine. . . .the meditation of a lifetime on key biblical passages that represent the biblical message and as such provide the 'Unity of the Bible.' If anyone has ever discovered the truth about the relation of Law to Gospel, Daniel Fuller has." -Ralph D. Winter "Reading Dr. Fuller's manuscript left me amazed that something like this had never been done before to my knowledge. Not only does this volume address a relevance." -Richard Halverson "This book could well become a theological classic. It is written in non-technical language and is thus within the grasp of serious laypersons. It provides deeply edifying devotional reading because it is saturated with Scripture. By reading this book you will not only enlighten your mind but will also treat yourself to a spiritual feast." -Ajith Fernando "The Unity of the Bible is an example of Daniel Fuller's devotion to Christ and God's holy inerrant Word. A 'must' reading My own life was greatly enriched as I read the manuscript." -Bill Bright

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   512
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.5"
Weight:   1.12 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 11, 2000
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310234042  
ISBN13  9780310234043  
UPC  025986234041  

Availability  3 units.
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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Unity of the Bible: Unfolding God's Plan for Humanity?

Pretty Good!  Apr 19, 2005
As a result of many criticisms from Protestant and evangelical scholars regarding Fuller's theological points on the Mosaic Law, faith, justification, and redemptive-history I was very weary to read this book. However, after reading this book I found much exegetical and practical insights regarding the Christian faith. I also enjoyed the way he speaks to the reader in a frank and easy to understand way so that even the average layperson can gain much information from the work. Also, the work can help many people gain insights into God's character and works, Christ's redemption, and man's responsibility. For Christians, there are many valuable reflections to scan over in order to gain a much more stronger faith and walk with God. Fuller's discussion on the unity of the Bible can help see through our own theological grids and challenge our own interpretive viewpoints (as a progressive dispensationalists I was very challenged by some of the arguments made by Fuller). He makes a pretty good case why the Bible must be seen as a unity rather than as a dichotomy (Marcionism?). The second part of the book dealing with God's nature and His work throughout salvation-history is an excellent argument for Calvinism. Many non-Calvinists always ask why a good and loving God would allow sin to permeate creation and only select a remnant from mankind for His blessings. Fuller answers these hypothetical questions by focusing on God's nature and work as a Trinity. His nature demands that He work in creation to increase His glory even if it means bringing sin and suffering into the world. Without the fall God's glory and mercy cannot be shown. The third section is about Israel's experiences throughout the OT as an example of what happens to people who receive God's mercy or reject Him. Those who receive His mercy are saved; those who reject His mercy are damned. Also, God is not a client that He needs humanity to work for Him--He is a patron willing to bestow grace upon sinful humans when they come to him in faith. This strikes a blow against any "church" that preaches a legalistic Gospel from self-made regulations. The last section deals with how Christ's first coming is the start of God's Kingdom program predicted in the OT. Fuller makes a good case why God's Kingdom has already come even though it still has a future element. Also, his argument for the mass conversion of Israel before the Parousia is outstanding. However, I must say that there are some negatives in this book. Fuller believes that the OT Law and NT Gospel are a continuum rather than a contrast. Critics of Fuller are right to argue that the Law has no place when it comes to receiving God's salvation through faith. To say that the Law must go alongside the Gospel is to wander into the path of Romanism, Arminianism, nomism, and works-salvation. His whole argument on the nature of the Mosaic Law is not persuasive. For most Christians, practically speaking, there is no difference between the "law of faith" and the "law of works." A Christian who is told to see the Law as a means of receiving the promises will fall into a works-salvation mentality. This can be very dangerous to those who are just "babes" in Christ. Works are the result of saving faith; not saving faith itself. This is where Fuller fails in his theology. Overall, though, I would recommend this book to those who want to understand how and why God works with humanity.
A Fuller View  Feb 22, 2005
As I began to emerge out of my narrow minded upbring, this was one of the first books I read. It helped me to see "the fullness of God" throughout history. From the seed of Abraham to the redemption of all things. This is a must read for anyone who desires to understand redemptive history, or at least catch a glimps of it. I wish I would have been is his classes when he tought this stuff. WOW!!
Catching On To What the Bible Is Up To  Jul 5, 2000
Building on his path-breaking study Gospel & Law: Contrast or Continuum?, the former Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of Hermeneutics at Fuller Theological Seminary offers the Church a non-technical, highly accessible exposition of God's redemptive plan for humanity. The fruit of his 40+ years of study, reflection and interaction with generations of students, The Unity of the Bible is organized into relatively short chapters, each having review questions to help the reader catch on to what Fuller is up to. Thus the book is very well-suited for use in adult Sunday School classes, provided that both facilitator and students are willing to do the close, careful reading Fuller's book deserves and requires.

Unity of the Bible provides a thoroughly biblical presentation of God's controlling purpose in human history. Introductory chapters set forth Fuller's inductive, presuppositionless approach to the Bible, an approach he believes mirrors the practice of the early Church, and which best positions Christians today to persuasively communicate the message of the Bible in a diverse, multi-cultural context. Fuller then proceeds to an inductive study of Genesis 1-3 in order to discover God's purpose in creation. As the middle sections of Unity unfold, Fuller deftly argues that in all of the redemptive history set forth in the Old Testament, God is unerringly working out this single purpose, a purpose finally fulfilled in Jesus' life, ministry and death. In the final section Fuller shows how the Church now fits into God's redemptive plan to bring His single purpose to its consummation.

Along the way the attentive reader will be rewarded with challenging and life-transforming insights into the Law as a law of faith, how saving faith necessarily entails the obedience of faith, and that God is our Patron Lord and not a client lord. These "aha" experiences are more than worth the effort required to follow his exegesis and arguments. Though Fuller critiques the reigning theological paradigm of Reformed Protestantism at places, he is always careful in his analysis of theologians with whom he disagrees. Throughout his writing evinces a docility of spirit before the biblical text which ought to serve as a model for any who wish to understand and align themselves with the "whole purpose of God."

Thus, those who claim that Fuller sees no discontinuity between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant (cf. the review posted 12/13/99 by a reader in Minneapolis), or who detect "cynicism and error" in this book (cf. the review posted 12/8/99 by another reader in Minneapolis) have in my opinion not read Fuller carefully. Since Fuller forthrightly challenges some of the theological formulations of the Protestant paradigm, it is understandable that those fully committed to that paradigm might balk at some of his judgments and conclusions. But disagreement with an author does not justify such a gross mis-reading of his work. Unity of the Bible may be "dangerous," but the peril is only that it will shake us out of our settled religious traditions. The promise is that God may use this book to awaken the reader's thirst for the living water Who alone will satisfy.

Controversial positions, but solid Scriptural support.  Apr 6, 2000
Fuller's well-established purpose in writing was to present the Bible as a whole and express its coherency in theme. Throughout the book, the author comes back to this point and reminds the reader of how the current chapter or section fits in with that overall context. His approach, as stated in the preface follows an inductive method of reasoning, challenging readers to emulate the Bereans of Acts 17. In an attempt to make an interpretational decision, the Bereans based their conclusions on solid evidence. In his opinion, "In today's churches time and energy must be given to train promising people to do likewise" (p. 105). Where he employs this inductive method to focus on specific sections of Scripture- specifically chapters 7, 12, 15, and fragmented parts of a few other chapters- constitute the highlight of his work. These chapters form a base upon which the majority of his theological interpretations are built. Consequently, the farther he reaches from the source of his information, the less coherency he retains in supporting these positions. To his defense, he seems to use an extraordinary amount of scriptural references in support of his ideas, and for the majority of the book, these ideas were understandable and well organized.

Toward the latter half of the book, primarily in the last 8-10 chapters, Fuller's ideas began to stray toward the speculative side and became more unintelligible. Whereas in the first half he described his theology on the plan and purpose of God, in the second half he turned his attention to explaining that plan as seen throughout the history of Man. Thus therein lies Fuller's strength of interpretation. These arguments that are harder to understand because they seem to have less scriptural support, center around the theory that Israel is a textbook example to Man for how God deals with disobedience and unbelief. Yet even within this somewhat less impressive section, there is a shining gem which is the descriptions on the "Ten specific attitudes of unbelief" (p. 279-296).

Overall this book is well structured, and presents the basic theology of the unity of Scripture in an uncommon yet important format: the Bible studied as a whole. The vast Scriptural support throughout leads the reader to feel the ideas presented are thoroughly researched and in line with Biblical teaching.

some good some Bad  Dec 13, 1999
Fuller's book runs the tightrope of being one of the more helpful books ever written and also one of the more potentially dangerous. His stress on the absolute sovereignty of God and God's over-arching purpose to act for his own name's sake (Is. 48:9-11)is stunning.

However, Fuller sees so much continuity between the Old and the New Covenants that one gets the impression that there really isn't anything "new" about the latter. Christ's work on the cross is an encouragment to our faith, not the object of it per se. There is no talk of the essential place of Christ's active obedience in our justification.

Fuller's exegesis of passages on the law has attracted few if any followers. Where Paul sees discontinuity, Fuller insists on continuity.

Also, if you have not read anything on Covenant theology, do not look to Fuller as one who can accurately describe that system of thought. His quotes on Calvin (e.g., p.181.2) are taken badly out of context. Fuller has not come to terms with Covenant theology's use of the term "works" and does not accurately represent it.

Finally, Fuller tries to argue his positions from a purely inductive framework. He shows the impossibility of such an attempt by continually bringing in non-inductive arguments and skipping many points in his argumentation.

Despite all this, I must say that there are indeed many helpful things in this book. However, if you want the good without the bad, John Piper's works are much more helpful (contrary to much thought, the two do not have identical theologies, esp. as it relates to justification, faith, and obedience).

I don't like to write such negative reviews, but ultimately I believe this book undermines the Work of the Second Adam, and therefore is to be read with the greatest of cautions.


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