If someone asked you to explain the main message of the Bible in five minutes, what would you tell them?
And if you had to sum up the whole Bible in one or two sentences, what would you say?
Wouldn’t the ability to give a good reply to those two requests have these two benefits … to better understand what the Bible really says? … and to be better equipped to share your faith with others?
A few years ago my wife Janet and I, along with the rest of the Key-Way-Tin Bible Institute staff at Lac La Biche (AB), were asked these very questions.
The first question was posed by Mike Matthews of Worldview Resource Group (WRG), as he provided guidance for our School curriculum development sessions going on at the time.
Sometime later the second question – to sum up the Bible in one or two sentences – was asked by Tom Steffen, also connected with WRG, during a seminar attended by additional missionaries serving among First Nations. One attendee offered: “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B-I-B-L-E).” That acrostic was among other good answers given.
Thanks to Mike’s work with us, we felt somewhat prepared for Tom’s question. The following reply from our KBI staff caught more attention:
“The Bible is the true and complete story of God revealing Himself and His plan of redemption for mankind and the world.”
Is that the only way to sum up God’s Word in a sentence? No. Is it the best way? Perhaps not – there’s always room for improvement – but for us it was a good one-sentence summary.
In regard to the question of how to explain the Bible’s message in five minutes, Mike offered this advice: People remember things longer if many of the key words start with the same letter. Many of us were familiar with the work of Answers in Genesis. They have a seven-word summary of the main events/characters of the Bible: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation. Some call it the “7 C’s.”
We thought this was good, but decided to expand it a bit for the purpose of outlining our first-year curriculum. We came up with: Creator, Creation, Corruption, Covenant, Commandments, Christ, Cross, Community (or Church), Caught-Up and Culmination. We called it, well … the “10 C’s” (maybe someday we’ll come up with a more creative name).
Of course 10 words do not make a five-minute presentation, so we began adding selective words of explanation of each of the 10 C’s.
Fast forward to the winter of 2015 when missionary Gary Fullerton saw the need for a “10 C’s” explanation of the Bible in tract form. In his personal outreach in the Lac La Biche area he believes this written and visual presentation will help to communicate the Gospel.
NCEM’s Printshop in Prince Albert took on the project and before long a colorful tract was complete (shown above).
It has been exciting for Janet and me to use the “10 C’s” outline along with “The Hope” video in our Bible camp and prison ministries. I have visibly seen the “light go on” as people understand for the first time why Jesus had to die the way He did. It’s like a giant puzzle of truth has come together to give a picture of Christ’s work that they’ve never quite understood before.
We pray that this tract will help people better understand the message of the Bible and why Jesus came to earth, died on the cross, and the need for faith in Christ. And we hope it will encourage Christians in knowing what they believe, and have more confidence to share their faith with others.