The Bible: A Story that Makes Sense of Life (Paperback)
  • The Bible: A Story that Makes Sense of Life (Paperback)

The Bible: A Story that Makes Sense of Life (Paperback)

Paperback 352 Pages
Published: 09/12/2021
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'Honest, revealing insight into the bestselling book of all time.'
Bear Grylls

'A stimulating and accessible survey of history's most influential book.'
Tom Holland, historian and author of Dominion

'Personal and profound; informative and practical. If you want to experience the Bible as a rich source of guidance and hope, this book is for you.'
Simon Thomas, former Sky Sports and Blue Peter presenter

When we make sense of the Bible, the Bible makes sense of us.

The political, social and cultural upheaval of our times can leave us feeling bewildered and wondering where to turn for trustworthy guidance. As unlikely as it may seem, could the Bible provide ancient wisdom that helps us flourish today?

Join Andrew Ollerton as he explores the storyline of Scripture, connecting six major biblical events with six definitive human needs: for meaning, freedom, peace, community, love and for an ultimate home. In short, digestible chapters, Andrew reveals how the Bible story makes sense of our human story.

Discover for yourself a limitless source of guidance and hope in the face of so much uncertainty.

Underpinned by a depth of scholarship, the book is non-technical in style, making it accessible for the widest possible readership - including Christians and seekers interested in the Bible. The book will also provide a model for Bible communicators and church leaders wishing to engage more deeply with the relevance of the Bible in our cultural moment.

Contains discussion questions for small groups, as well as suggested Bible readings and reflection questions to accompany each chapter. The structure of the book makes it ideal for a home group study.

This book was chosen for the National Big Church Read in January 2022.

Publisher: John Murray Press
ISBN: 9781529327014
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 240 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 24 mm


'A stimulating and accessible survey of history's most influential book.' - Tom Holland, historian and author of Dominion

'Honest, revealing insight into the bestselling book of all time' - Bear Grylls, adventurer and Chief Scout

Andrew Ollerton provides an accessible outline and explanation of key biblical moments... he describes and explains the main biblical narratives with a gentle humour and considerable skill. - Christianity

'The Bible is the most influential yet most frequently misunderstood book in all of history. As modern culture clashes over which story we should live by, Andrew Ollerton gives us a timely reminder of why the Bible has provided a narrative that has made sense of life for billions of people for thousands of years. In the process he sketches out a remarkably accessible roadmap for those who want to trace the big story that scripture tells. For the believer, seeker, sceptic or just-plain-confused, this is an essential guide to understanding how the Bible continues to speak to modern life today.' - Justin Brierley, Unbelievable? show host, Premier Christian Radio

'Andrew offers us not just keys to understanding the Bible but also skilfully makes sense of our own purpose within the beautiful narrative. The wildest most wonderful thing any generation whispers to the next is that we are written into God's story - this book celebrates and embraces this essential truth.' - Rachel Gardner, Director of Youthscape and author of The Girl Deconstruction Project

'The Bible is the bestselling book of all time. Andrew Ollerton's marvellous overview of the story of the Bible, anchored around six major themes, enables us to see why. Beautifully written and full of poignant illustrations, even if you know little or nothing about the Bible, this book will lead you into and through the great story of the Bible and invite you to reflect on its relevance to your life today. Be prepared to be surprised and excited, even amid the challenging times through which we are living.' - Prof. Craig Bartholomew, author and Biblical scholar

'Someone has said that the Bible is the bestselling, least read book of all time. I think there is some truth to that. Why is that the case? For many people the Bible is seen as a "spiritual book" with very little to do with practical daily living. What people need to know is the Bible, as Andrew Ollerton says, is a story that makes sense of life. For over 40 years now, I have been reading, studying and teaching the Bible and I can attest to you, from my own experience and the experiences of thousands of others, that there is no book in the world like the Bible. After reading, The Bible: A Story That Makes Sense of Life, I think you'll agree.' - Brian Brodersen, Director, Creation Fest UK and Senior Pastor, Calvary Chapel (California)

'Andrew Ollerton has a gift of summing up in readable, insightful language the connection between the yearning of our hearts and our hope of encountering something that makes sense of it all. Communicating great depth in story-form, this book about the Bible immerses us into an account of life that makes sense and presents ideas for how we can find our way into that hope-fuelled life. Saturated with good news, it encourages us to grapple with the whole Bible as profoundly complex and as good and hopeful news for ourselves and others. Full of examples and stories, this book communicates in ordinary language some of the deepest truths of our lives. It's readable, but it's not overly simplified, instead, it provokes the reader to discover more and more of the nature of the Bible for themselves. This book will be great as a devotional resource or in a small study group of people hoping to encounter God again in our time.' - Deidre Brower-Latz, Principal, Nazarene Theological College, University of Manchester

'Practical, accessible and inspiring. This wonderful book highlights the relevance, power and necessity of the greatest book ever to the lives of all people.' - Gavin Calver, CEO, Evangelical Alliance

'In a market of too many books and too few of real calibre, Andrew Ollerton's The Bible: A Story That Makes Sense of Life stands out like a luminous gem. This is not simply yet another Christian book but an expertly written and user-friendly guide to the book of all books. The Bible is explored thematically using topics such as freedom, meaning and community, building a bridge between the world of the Bible and the one we inhabit. Andrew brings his gifts as a scholar and pastor to bear and has produced an amazing resource which is in-depth and illuminating but also practical and applied. I enthusiastically commend it.' - Greg Downes, Director of Ministerial Training and Dean of the Wesley Centre, Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford

'In recent years, many folk I've met have been surprised to discover how closely the Bible's story of reality matches the contours of their own lives. Andrew Ollerton's guided tour of the world's bestselling book will help both seasoned readers and those new to the Bible encounter the God who is able to meet our deep desires for meaning, freedom, peace, love, community and home.' - Peter Dray, Head of Creative Evangelism, UCCF: The Christian Unions

'The Bible is often misread or dismissed. In a remarkable achievement, Dr Ollerton not only opens up an accessible way to make sense of this complex, powerful book, but he also distils from it a lively, attractive account of Christian essentials, punctuated by vivid personal anecdotes.' - Prof. David F. Ford, Emeritus Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

'Ollerton is a master communicator - and here he manages to make something so vast so relatable. Drawing on science and philosophy, bringing a fresh, straightforward perspective, this book shines a new light on the Bible. Relatable, warm, wise... A very human, accessible read that will open your eyes and cause you to open your Bible. This is a great book, about the Good Book, and whatever your opinion of the Bible, from sceptical to evangelical, Ollerton will enhance your understanding. Highly recommended.' - Paul Kerensa, comedy writer and stand-up comedian

'This is a masterpiece. Andrew Ollerton takes the complexities and intricacies of the Bible and arranges them in an accessible and engaging way for all to see, whatever your age or stage of faith. Punctuated with great stories, carefully chosen metaphors, humour and insight, The Bible: A Story That Makes Sense of Life takes you on a journey that masterfully pulls together the threads of the greatest story ever known. I wholeheartedly commend it.' - Phil Knox, Evangelical Alliance

'A really helpful guide for those wanting to understand the world's most influential book.' - Elizabeth Oldfield, Director of Theos

'This very well-written, widely researched work conveys Andrew's great love for the Bible and his desire that we might know its divine author and his great plan for our lives. This excellent resource will be a blessing to many.' - Dave Smith, Senior Pastor, KingsGate Church (Peterborough)

'For many of us, the Bible feels inaccessible or outdated. This book brings it to life in a way that makes sense. Andrew explores the world of the Bible and relates it brilliantly to our contemporary lives today. Personal and profound; informative and practical. If you want to experience the Bible as a rich source of guidance and hope, this book is for you.' - Simon Thomas, former Sky Sports and Blue Peter presenter

'With clear readable prose, full of contemporary touch points, Andrew Ollerton brings the Bible to life in ways that make it highly accessible and show its relevance to our daily lives. There is no skirting over the difficulties or controversies of the Bible. But Ollerton skilfully disarms our modern confusion by revealing, in striking and simple terms, what it meant to its original audience and how surprisingly up to date this ancient text really is. We discover that it's not just about making sense of the Bible, but experiencing the Bible making sense of us. Strongly recommended!' - Paul Williams, CEO, British and Foreign Bible Society

'This is an important and timely book. I can't recommend it more highly. Like the very best of tour guides, Andrew Ollerton leads us through the Bible's plotline in a highly informative, compelling, and entertaining way. This book will enhance your experience of the Bible, no matter who you are or where you're at on your journey. Scholarly but personal and accessible, Andrew challenges us not only to know the Great Story, but live it - surely the most important Bible translation of all.' - Paul Woolley, CEO, London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

'Every now and again, a book comes along which makes such overriding sense and joins up so many figurative dots that you can hardly put it down. Few people succeed in expounding and communicating the complex spiritual truths of the Bible with such clarity and ease as Andrew Ollerton. Without question this eminently readable, cogent, and most timely book will compel readers not only to read more of the Bible but draw them closer to the God who both inspired and breathed it into life.' - Siân Wyn Rees, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Wales)

'In a world that feels increasingly uncertain, discovering meaning, peace and purpose is more challenging than ever. But the story of our lives today is remarkably similar to the stories of previous generations, whose experience will add wisdom and direction to our own journey. In this compelling book Andrew unlocks the big themes of life by exploring the Bible with a rare combination of passion and expertise. If you want to understand the story of your life I can think of no better place to start than in the pages of this book.' - Pete Wynter, Director of HTB Leadership College London

highly acclaimed book - Reform

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