The True Story of the Whole World, Revised Edition

Finding Your Place in the Biblical Drama

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This book provides an overview of the grand narrative of the Bible, showing how God's action in the world gives meaning to our lives and provides us with a foundation for our actions. The authors' bestselling textbook, The Drama of Scripture, presented this message for a student audience. It was then abridged and published at a more popular level as The True Story of the Whole World. This revised edition has been further updated and streamlined throughout for church readers and small groups. It includes contemporary reflection sections and discussion questions for individual or group use in each chapter.

Prologue: The Bible as a Grand Story
Act 1: God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation
Act 2: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall
Act 3: The King Chooses Israel: Restoration Initiated
Scene 1: A People for the King
Scene 2: A Land for God's People
Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for an Ending: The Intertestamental Period
Act 4: The Coming of the King: Restoration Accomplished
Act 5: Spreading the News of the King: The Mission of the Church
Scene 1: From Jerusalem to Rome
Scene 2: And into All the World
Act 6: The Return of the King: Restoration Completed


"What a shockingly bold title, The True Story of the Whole World, and it lives up to every word. This book masterfully synthesizes the biblical narrative without sacrificing important exegetical details. It prompts readers to sit back in awe of the history of redemption while also compelling them to get on with Jesus's kingdom mission. Its predecessor, The Drama of Scripture, was required reading for all our church's interns and residents. I am now thrilled to recommend this more accessible version to our whole church."

Jonathan Dodson, lead pastor of City Life Church, Austin, Texas; author of Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes

"I know of no book that is more important to our current and emerging times than The True Story of the Whole World. This book is accessible and tremendously impactful. In a world of competing ideologies and cultural division, Goheen and Bartholomew lay out the beauty and substance of the biblical story. These two teachers have immersed me and so many others in the world-altering story of Jesus Christ. Their book presents a breadth of biblical wisdom that helps us make sense of why the modern church is anemic in its calling to be the light of the world. I recommend The True Story of the Whole World to anyone who desires wisdom. Read and apply this book to your lives and ministries."

Tyler Johnson, lead pastor, Redemption Church Arizona

The Authors

  1. Michael W. Goheen

    Michael W. Goheen

    Michael W. Goheen (PhD, University of Utrecht) is professor of missional theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is also professor of missional theology and director of theological education at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix. Goheen is...

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  2. Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, England. He was formerly senior research fellow at the University of Gloucestershire and the H. Evan Runner Professor of...

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