The Story of God, the Story of Us: Getting Lost and Found in the Bible

by Sean Gladding

Paperback, 2010



Call number



IVP Books (2010), Paperback, 251 pages


"The ever present ache of exile rises above the comforting sounds of the river, as the image of the house of the LORD in ruins breaks the peace. . . . Despite the warmth of the fire, he feels a chill. He wraps his cloak around him and looks into the eager faces of his people, then closes his eyes. 'Picture this scene . . .'"Before the Bible was a book, it was flesh and blood.In this book, you can travel with Sean Gladding between the lines of the Scriptures to listen in on the conversations of people wrestling with the Story of God for the first time. Whether sitting around a campfire in Babylon, reclining at table in Asia Minor or huddled together by candlelight in Rome, you'll encounter a tale that is at once familiar and surprising.The Story of God, the Story of Us can be read alone but is especially rich shared with a group. Sean Gladding presents an account of the Bible that pays attention to its audience as well as its message. He introduces you to people who may remind you of yourself or your family, friends and coworkers. As much as the Bible is a story about God, it's also a story about you--and all of us--as we encounter God in a new way.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member choral.composer
Most of the bible studies I have experienced over the years have dealt with the bible verse by verse, sometimes even word by word, examining the text of the original language and its application. This approach can feel like examining a large canvas by using a microscope to view individual brush strokes. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the detail that we completely miss the whole picture. This can lead to us missing the point of the text.

This book helps us step back from the canvas and see the bigger picture, to see 'The Story of God' unfolding and find our place in that narrative.

Appropriately for a book about the Great Story, this book itself is in narrative form.

We begin sitting with the Captives in Babylon, hearing with them their oral history, how it led to their Captivity and the hope that it will not end there.

We then move forward in time to a gathering of believers where a newcomer enters and hears the continuation of the Story in the life of Jesus.

In the final movement our newcomer has become a believer and begins to relate the story of Revelation.

The book helped me see the through-narrative of the bible. It helped connect the many different 'stories' of scripture together and show their place in the great story. I found the first section in Babylon particularly helpful in this regard.

The bible is a big 'book of books', and 'The Story of God, the Story of Us' helped me see the full story and encouraged me to find my own unique place in it.

This is a book to be read, studied and lived.

My only criticism would be in the use of punctuation. The book frequently has characters quoting scripture in their speech. This leads to some interesting strings of double and single quotes at the end of some sentences. While it might be grammatically correct, I was distracted by some of the punctuation while reading. I found myself going back and analyzing certain passages to work out what quote went with what. This is a minor point however and was only an occasional distraction from getting 'lost and found' in the story.
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LibraryThing member jmcdbooks
Rated: B-
Good narrative survey of scriptures. A little too simplistic in places.

1. Creation
• “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for ha-adam [Adam] to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for ha-adam.
“Did you hear that? ‘It is not good.’ Something in God’s creation was not good! And that is for the human to be alone. We were indeed created for community, for relationship, and not just with God – which ha-adam experienced – but also with each other. This is central to our identity: to be human, to be made in God’s image, means ‘to not be alone.’
2. Catastrophe
• … and instead of talking to God, ish-shah [Eve] was now talking about God.
• The subtle serpent taps into our deepest anxiety as humans: the fear that what I have, no matter how good it may be, is not enough. The haunting suspicion that someone else has it better than me. That someone else is better than me. So, not only do I not have enough, I am not enough. I am less than.
• … deciding for herself, independently of God, what is good for her to do.
• Sin is social; it always impacts the whole community.
• [Noah] ... anomaly among humanity.
4. Community (Part One)
• We need a new exodus from sin. An exodus that not only frees the oppressed from being oppressed, but that also frees the oppressors from being oppressors.
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Physical description

251 p.; 5.5 inches


0830836322 / 9780830836321
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