The Gospel Map is a new way to explore the Bible using 21st century technology. It is an interactive navigational guide to the most important information in the Bible about God, Jesus, the Gospel, the Kingdom of God, and Christian living arranged and connected in a logical, topical way. It is a "swiss army knife" of Bible guides and resources. All the most important knowlege gathered over 40+ years from thousands of sermons, hundreds of books, and dozens fo bible studies has been collected and condensed into this one single reference. It contains more than 1800 topics, comments and quotes supported by thousands of topically organized Old Testament and New Testament verses. It includes handy references like lists of Jesus commandments, His promises and parables, answering life’s “big questions”, historical and scientific evidence for an informed faith, how to challenge Darwinian evolution, Biblical events in the context of world history, and guidance in sharing the Gospel with people of different religions and worldviews. All this information is logically organized and connected in a graphical "mind map" format that can be easily navigated to explore both the larger context and the additional details of Biblical teaching. You decide where and when you want to delve into more detail or see the bigger picture.
In technical terms, it is a topical outline of the Bible with verse references and concise commentary presented in a graphical, connected “mind map” format. It is practical “systematic theology” for ordinary people (i.e. non-theologians) expressed in mostly common “un-churchy” language. If the entire mind map were completely connected on one page, it would print out on an 8.75 ft by 30 ft piece of paper. Consequently, it has been broken up into about 100 pages and presented in this more practical electronic flip book form.
The teaching in The Gospel Map is consistent with mainstreams of traditional orthodox Protestant theology. Among the reviewers of the content are teachers of major national Bible study curricula and a Christianity historian.
Starting with the main topic of The Gospel in the center, it branches out on both sides into progressively more detailed related subtopics. Subtopics about God, Jesus, the Kingdom of God, and the Gospel message branch out to the left side of the map. Subtopics about Christian Living branch out to the right side of the map. So, for example, as you follow the arrows and topics on the right side of the map in the Christian Living section you will “drill down” into increasingly deeper levels of detail about Christian Living topics.
No, for a variety of reasons. I haven’t read or heard everything any of these people have written or said. Some quotations are from non-Christians. I disagree with some things that even my favorite authors like C.S. Lewis have written. Quotations have been chosen in part because I want to introduce readers to some great Christian authors, but primarily because they summarize, interpret, or illustrate topics or verses in a particularly useful and/or memorable way.
They are selected because I have learned they are relevant to the topic. Sometimes only some of the relevant verses in the Bible are included because they adequately make the point. Sometimes almost every relevant verse is included because it is important to emphasize for some readers that this topic or teaching occurs many times in the Bible. I have not always included only verses that clearly support a topic or teaching. In some cases, I also include verses that at first glance may look like they do not support a topic or teaching. These verses are also God’s truth, so they also need to be understood and reconciled with the other verses in the mind of a mature Christian.
Usually the order of the verses is the order they appear in the Bible. Topics that God introduced in the Old Testatment were then focused on by Him as Jesus in the Gospels, and then applied to Christian Living in the letters from the New Testament authors. Old Testament references are included to show how the Gospel builds upon, and is consistent with, how God began revealing Himself to the nation of Israel in the thousands of years before Jesus. Jesus’ own words and deeds are included from the Gospel books to communicate God’s message as directly as possible. Verses from the New Testament letters illuminate how God’s message in Old Testament and in Jesus are intended to impact the life of a Christian. Sometimes verses are placed out of Bible order at the beginning or end because they are especially suited to introduce or summarize a topic.
There are more good translations than I will suggest here, but be aware that misleading translations are also popular and widely available. These that often ignore the original meaning of the most accurate Hebrew and Greek texts in order to promote a view of Christianity that is not intended by the original writings.
I personally like using a good word-for-word translation such as the English Standard Version (ESV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), or one of the “new” or “modern” King James versions. I also like what I have seen of the new NET Bible. I sometimes use these in combination with the Amplified Bible or a good paraphrase of the Bible in order see how reliable Bible scholars might more freely re-word and expand more difficult passages into today’s language. I have found the New Living Translation to be a reliable and easy to read paraphrase. When I want to dig more deeply into the original New Testament Greek text (without knowing any Greek) I like to look at Paul R. McReynolds’ Word Study Greek-English New Testament or The Complete Word Study New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates. I also use Zodhiates’ The Complete Word Study Old Testament.