Recommended. Andrew Wilson holds degrees in theology from Cambridge University and London School of Theology. His passion is to communicate the extraordinary truths of God. Andrew teaches internationally and is an elder at Kings Church Eastbourne in the UK, and also runs theological training programs within Newfrontiers churches, teaching church leaders and students. Andrew is the author of Incomparable: Explorations in the Character of God and lives in the UK.
An extremely well-written and thoughtful book, Andrew Wilson’s God*Stories puts the historical bible into an understandable, comprehensive narrative. Wilson’s goal in this book is to bring an end to Western ignorance (yes!) by shedding light on lesser-known bibles stories for the purpose of uncovering the overall narrative of God’s word. He illustrates the bible as it is: a cohesive, fluid book that is focused on the glory of God through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Wilson writes, “The first and biggest reason we must read these stories is because the glory of God is at stake.”
God*Stories is a truly unique book. Each “chapter” is 2-3 pages long and chunks of the book are divided by Acts (i.e. “Act One: Creation and Fall”). His book is broad yet specific at the same time: each Act (Creation, Israel, Prophets, Jesus, and Restoration) is full of specific examples of God’s nature and His predestined plan. It’s very expository. The chapter lengths also lends itself to become a semi-devotional book if the reader chose to go through it that way. There are many sections that Wilson calls “Coffee Breaks,” where he provides thoughtful encouragements or examples that help the reader think realistically about passages or ideas that were discussed previously. The content is simple and clear, and Wilson’s explanations are supplemented with contemporary examples, which help.
If you know me, you know that I have a personal attachment to church and biblical history. Indeed, in my own life, understanding the historical context of the bible has helped me unlock greater truths that are often hidden underneath the surface. Understanding the background of biblical texts gives believers a new appreciation for the gravity of what different characters in the bible (especially Jesus) were doing during their time. This book also created in me an appreciation for the Old Testament books and the stories that are weaved throughout them (mainly because I struggle with understanding OT books). The chapter lengths really grabbed my attention and kept me on my toes in anticipation; I felt like each chapter taught me something new and wonderful about God and his sovereign plan played out through the bible. One of the most valuable things about the book was Wilson’s ability to connect correlating passages to show how Jesus was undoubtedly a fulfillment of the Jewish prophecies (see Isaiah 52-53!). It was amazing to see how intricate God’s word truly is!
I would recommend this book to anyone looking to be brought deeper in their understanding of the bible and its cohesiveness. This book is especially valuable for those who are secretly afraid to even attempt to understand the Old Testament books (which includes most people). Wilson makes connections that truly bring you to a greater worship of God and he helps you apply these truths to your life. This book makes it clear that the focus of the bible is not on us, wretched sinners, but rather on God through his son, Jesus Christ. The bible is an amazing narrative of God’s sovereign plan and we, as believers, need to make an effort to understand it all. Wilson puts it best when he writes, “The good news that shines through all the GodStories will bring us closer into worship, push us further into mission, and draw us closer into community—facedown, flat out, all in.”