THIS AFTERNOON — much later in the day than I’d intended — it gives me great pleasure to introduce Antony Billington, an old friend of LBC/LST vintage, now Head of Theology at LICC; and Antony himself introduces his book Whole Life, Whole Bible, hot off the press from BRF, co-written with Margaret Killingray and Helen Parry.
It’s a book that fills a gap many church leaders have longed to see filled, not only giving an overview of the biblical story but designed to show how that story continues into and through our own lives today, ideal for church members who want to dig a little deeper into that epic narrative and experience more of it for themselves and their neighbours.
Whole Life, Whole Bible
‘Tell me a story’ and ‘Once upon a time’ – a four-word request and a four-word opening. Both phrases capture something of the universal human desire for stories. Indeed, our own lives are submerged in several interconnecting ‘stories’ – of living through or in the aftermath of the Second World War, of being married with grown-up children, of working in finance, of having a passion for collecting stamps, of serving on the PCC, of holidaying in Cornwall – and all these ‘stories’ shape our lives in different ways.
For Christians, of course, the most crucial story for shaping the way we think and live is the biblical story. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible can be seen as an epic narrative: a story which begins with God as Creator, which focuses on Israel as the people who will bring God’s blessing to the nations, which the New Testament declares has come to its promised fulfilment in the redemption brought about through Christ, in whom God’s purposes for the universe will be consummated.
Whole Life, Whole Bible is designed to walk through the unfolding story of the Bible in 50 readings and reflections. More than a Bible overview, however, the book has been written with the conviction that God’s word sets the agenda for our lives as followers of Jesus today. And it does so for the whole of life – on Monday to Saturday as well as Sunday, in public and in private, in culture as well as in church, in work as much as in worship. Moreover, this ‘whole-life’ perspective is not limited to a few biblical passages here and there, but is woven through the story as a whole – from creation to new creation.
Those who enjoy daily reading notes will benefit from an opportunity to see how the big story of the Bible provides a way of understanding how individual passages relate to each other in the larger picture. Beyond that is the reminder that we are a part of this ongoing drama which embraces the entirety of our lives – individually and together – for the sake of the world in which we are called to live.
Whole Life, Whole Bible aims to show how the big story of the Bible forms our minds, fuels our imaginations, and fashions our daily existence – as we live in God’s world in the light of God’s word, taking the Lord of life into the whole of life.
Whole Life, Whole Bible
50 readings on living in the light of Scripture
Antony Billington, Margaret Killingray and Helen Parry
BRF, January 2012
Live in or near London? Attend the official launch celebration – tickets £8, including refreshments and a copy of the book:
Where: LICC, St Peter’s, Vere Street, London W1G 0DQ
When: Monday 23rd January 2012, 6.45-8.30pm