This grew out of some conversations at a Langham workshop in Budapest back in March when we were trying to come up some creative teaching plans for adult education. I was working with old pal Theo Karvounakis and it was initially quite rough and ready.
But because this seemed to have legs, I have played around with it since, and so have come up with what might be a useful little game/gambit for getting heads around a Bible overview.
Background to the Panels
But I’ve often been struck repeatedly by how significant LOCATION is for the bible’s narrative. So I played around with this thought, and noticed that there is a similar in/out plotline. One of the things that did strike me was that it shows how active God is each time the people are OUTSIDE – and that includes our present age, in which we are described as exiles and strangers. It also subverts the notion ethereal, non-locatedness of heaven – because the city will come down to the renewed and restored earth to be our place of rest and refuge.
I guess I was partly inspired by Christopher Ash’s lovely book Remaking a Broken World in which he applies the striking insight that the Bible follows a constant see-saw between gathering and scattering of God’s people. I even remember some very frustrating meetings where one or two insisted that Graeme Goldsworthy’s Kingdom overview model was the ONLY possible way of doing it, which seemed palpably absurd to me (as well as a hubristic method of controlling who could speak at that certain conference). There’s no doubt that it is important and foundational, though not without its weaknesses. So reading Christopher’s book was a breath of fresh air.
In and Out but In God’s Plans
So here is the overview’s overview:
- Expelled from Eden
- A Land Promised
- Enslaved in Egypt
- A Land Inhabited and Ruled
- Exiled to Babylon
- A New King and his Kingdom
- Out Into the World as Aliens and Strangers
- A New Jerusalem
Because I was so struck by how God’s purposes continued whenever his people were outside his promised places, it tried to convey this by putting the dove (to represent God’s Spirit) in each of the red boxes.
Using the Panels
One way of using it as a teaching exercise/game is:
- to print off the individual panels
- place them out at random
- get people to figure out what each one might represent
- then they should put them in the right order to retell the Bible’s story.
Anyway – I’m sure there are some flaws with it, but here goes. See what you think. Any feedback gratefully received!
If you would like to print off the individual panels, you could download the zip file here. Just give credit if you want to use them.