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Welcome to this detailed DDT Product Review of Gerard Chrispin’s sweeping book

entitled “The Bible Panorama” (henceforth in this review to be referred to as simply

“BP”.) No matter what “version” of this work that you are interested in, you’ll find

out what’s most important about it: the content.

 

I want to give you enough information to make sure that you are an informed buyer.

I also want you to know right up front my theological perspective so you’ll be able

to understand what I write (I think that’s important, and I’m quite sure you’ll agree!).

 

Finally, I know that you’ve already looked at the DDT Rating, so you already know

the conclusion: this is a great resource for everyone, regardless of doctrine and

denomination. Now, let us commence with the Review!

 

 

Introductory Comments

 

“Panorama.” I had to look that up to make sure I had the correct definition. Here’s what Webster says: “Complete or entire view; a circular painting having apparently no beginning or end, from the center of which the spectator may have a complete view of the objects presented.”

 

Well, there are no paintings here, but you get the idea: Chrispin wants to leave us with a “complete or entire view” of what the Bible says. He wants us to be able to see “a complete view of the objects presented.”

 

Obviously a 650+ page book cannot be “complete” on the Bible! (Some commentary sets have 50+ volumes.) But it’s intention is to completely give you a sweeping view of what the Bible is all about.

 

This book is divided into two distinct part. Part One works like a commentary, summarizing the entire Bible. It gives a panorama of each book of the Bible, and then it gives a panorama of every chapter in the Bible. For the most part, it’s very nicely done.

 

Part Two of the book is doctrinal, focusing on Bibliology: The Doctrine of the Bible. It’s intent is to give a panorama of Bibliology.

 

Part One: The Commentary Section

 

The commentary section summarizes large blocks of Scripture. Every book of the Bible has a panoramic overiew, including sections on “People & Preliminaries,” “Plan & Purpose,” “Profile & Progression,” and “Principles & Particulars.” (As you can now imagine - Chrispin likes alliteration.) These panoramic book overviews are not intense, nor are they written on a scholarly level. They simply attempt to explain the most important points of every individual book. If you’re expecting simplicity and symmetry, you’ll find that these overviews are very satisfying.

 

Every book also contains “chapter level” commentary. Chrispin provides parallel outlines for every chapter of the Bible. These outlines do not provide for verse by verse detail; rather, they are intended to explain - in panoramic fashion, of course - the broad movement of every book of the Bible. His comments are paragraph by paragraph. All of his outlines include some type of alliteration. Teachers and preachers will love this feature! (See below for a sample entry from Romans 3.)

 

Part Two: The Doctrinal Section

 

Chrispin explains this section thusly: “Enjoying the unhindered view with confidence; Practical topics about the Bible to help you trust and read it.” As a fundamentalist, I love those words!

 

This section is a conservative handbook on the practical aspects of Bibliology: your Bible is inspired by God, so you’d better be reading it! It includes a good amount of very practical information, including how to read the Bible, and how to have family devotions.

 

This second section is good enough to be a stand alone book; it alone makes this book worth the purchase price.

 

Samples

 

OK, here is the entry from Part One’s Commentary on Romans 3 (please note: the text comes from the module designed for use with TheWord Bible software)

 

V 1-8 : ADVANTAGED? This chapter asks a lot of questions. First, if acceptance with God is a circumcision of the heart, and not an outward circumcision, what advantage does a Jew have in being a member of the circumcision? Paul confirms the great privileges of being a physical Jew. Of course, he knows this as a Jew himself. They have the Scriptures as the ‘oracles of God’. The sinful unbelief of some of the Jews does not negate God’s faithfulness in giving them these privileges. The very sinfulness of the Jews demonstrates the wonder of those Scriptures and the righteous and holy standards of God by which they are judged. That is not to say that Jews must sin more to make God’s standards of holiness appear greater. God loves holiness and will judge the world for being unholy.

 

V 9-20 : BETTER? Paul asks if Jews are better than Gentiles, and concludes, ‘Not at all.’ Everyone is unrighteous, self-seeking not God-seeking, practising evil in word and deed, and living without the conscious fear of God. As the whole world is guilty, then there is no one in the world who can be justified by anything he or she does.

 

V 21-26 : CHRIST Only Jesus Christ can justify a sinner, be he Gentile or Jew. Given that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’, it is the righteousness of God, put to our account when we put our faith in Christ, that is seen by God as ours and justifies us because we have no righteousness of our own. Not only that, but Christ shed His blood as a ‘propitiation’. That means that, when Christ died on the cross for our sins, our wicked rebellion that offended our holy God was punished by His wrath falling on Christ in our place. Thus cleansed by His precious blood and with His righteousness put to our account, we find that, as we put our faith in Him, we are justified by Him who is both just and the Justifier.

 

V 27-31 : DIFFERENCE? The five questions put in this short section basically ask a more fundamental question: what difference does this make? It excludes boasting because we are justified by faith, not by our own deeds. He is the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews because all can come to Him by faith. God’s law is not annulled by faith in Christ, but rather it is fulfilled, because His just sacrifice fulfils the law for us. We have a desire to walk in that law through Christ, not in order to be justified, but to obey Him.

 

And here is an excerpt from Part Two’s Doctrinal Section:

 

The Bible is like an anvil. Many hostile hammers have crashed down upon it. Those hammer blows have been, and still are, struck by those whose opposition to the truth of the Bible is religious, political, moral, personal, philosophical, theological or supposedly ‘scientific’. Some opponents combine a number of those approaches. For hundreds of years, their hammers have been slammed down on that anvil. Yet the anvil remains intact and unharmed, and one by one the hammers have been worn and broken, while those wielding them pass on life’s short and uncertain road in spiritual blindness, through death, into eternity. But new antagonists, blind and biased against the saving message of God’s word, arise to continue to pick up old broken hammers and attack the Bible. The Christian has nothing to fear. God’s word is eternal and durable and we can safely put our full confidence in it. There is no known fact, as opposed to theories or models, that has ever contradicted the Bible. There never will be, because it is God’s infallible word (2 Timothy 3:16). Meanwhile, despite the attacks, many intelligent, learned and converted men and women from all the places where rebel sinners pick up their petty hammers join with millions of ‘ordinary people’ to confirm their confidence in the reliability and infallibility of Scripture and its message of forgiveness, hope, peace and new life. History is well flavoured with the testimony of people who knew that the biggest discovery that anyone could make is that he or she is a guilty sinner, and that Jesus Christ is the repentant sinner’s friend. (Exerpted from Chapter Three - “Can I Trust the Bible?”)

 

Conclusion

 

So, is this book for you? Let’s imagine for a moment that the Bible is The Grand Canyon.  Reading the Bible could be likened to traveling to Grand Canyon National Park. You love what you see - and want to see more.

 

If you want to hike down one mile into the canyon, explore the Colorado River while in a raft, and study the individual sediment layers laid down during The Flood, then this book may not be for you. If, though, you’d like to take a helicopter ride over the canyon to get the astounding big picture view (without seeing the small flora and fauna), then, this book might just be perfect!

 

This is not an in-depth commentary. But for what it is - A Survey of the Bible & A Conservative Introduction to Bibliology - this is a great book that does a wonderful job. Students & Teachers alike will enjoy it very much.

 

 

Purchase Chrispin’s The Bible Panorama Here

 

Purchase The Bible Panorama formatted for theWord Bible Software

Purchase The Bible Panorama softcover from Amazon.com

See Chrispin’s other titles from Amazon.com

 

This comprehensive review is by Dr. David S. Thomason. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

REVIEW: Bible Panorama by Gerard Chrispin

DDT Fast Facts

 

DDT Fast Links

 

Purchase The Bible Panorama formatted for theWord Bible Software

Purchase The Bible Panorama from Amazon.com

Click Here for information on the first edition

This is a great resource that both younger disciples and more mature teachers will enjoy. The younger will be thoroughly edified in their study of the Scriptures, while the more mature will revel in Chrispin’s symmetrical (& beautiful!) outlines.

DDT Rating

 

Great Resource for Everyone

DDT_Ratings_System

No Gr/Heb Necessary

Gr/Heb Essential

Language Skills Needed

Brief

Sufficient

Verbose

Entry Length

Leans Left

Unbiased

Leans Right

Theological Bias

Disciple

Pastoral

Theologian

Academic Target