Monday, January 21, 2013

90 Days Thru The Bible: A Devotional Journey From Walk Thru The Bible

I was so excited to review this book not only because I love the Walk Thru The Bible curriculum, but I also loved the idea of an overview of the Bible. Walk Thru The Bible does a great job of presenting the Bible as a story that is all connected in one big picture. I knew this overview would bring the same enthusiasm and simplicity to understanding each book of the Bible.

I felt like I could underline so many of the pages, but here are a few of my favorite quotes.

"Between the basic message and some of the well-known stories, deep, dark sections of Scripture remain's entirely possible, then, for us to be well-versed in certain specifics and yet ignorant of major themes."

"Our voices carry no weight when we declare that the God of the universe has revealed himself in the Bible and simultaneously admit that we haven't actually read all of it. We far too often tend to ascribe glory to God's Word and then never get around to exploring it fully for ourselves." (p. xii)

The idea behind 90 Days Thru The Bible is that it gives you a big picture idea of each book of the Bible and encourages you to dig deeper in the Scriptures for yourself. Each day goes over a book or passage and ends with questions for reflection. I think this the perfect book for any age small group. It also includes a 13 week discussion guide in the back. It is light enough to read through in a group, but deep enough to bring out tough questions that make you think. I highly recommend this book to anyone desiring to grow in their knowledge of the Bible. You will learn new truths and be reminded of old ones and you will strengthen the foundation of your faith by going through this devotional.

Bold As Love by Bob Roberts, Jr.

Dallas pastor Bob Roberts asks readers, "As Christians we're called to love our neighbors-all our neighbors. But is that even possible? Can we truly love them well?" Bold As Love is a great read on an often misunderstood topic in the Christian community: interfaith gatherings.

I'll be honest, I was very wary of reading this book based on the premise alone. But, I'm really glad I gave it a try! Mr. Roberts delves into the topic of truly loving our neighbor and how to practically live it out. He establishes very early on that loving his neighbor did not mean abandoning his beliefs and saying we all ultimately believe the same thing. Roberts says, "I made it clear that I was an evangelical, a conservative Christian, and that I didn't like interfaith gatherings: I saw interfaith as loosey-goosey, let's all just hug one another and ignore core truth. I wanted nothing to do with that. I liked the concept of multifaith better, which says we have fundamental differences, but the best of our faiths teach us we should get along. I wanted to do all I could to build relationships, so instead of living in fear; we could live in peace with one another." (p. 19)

The author weaves personal stories of interacting with imams, rabbis, and people of other faiths in this country and others. I liked hearing his accounts of practically applying these ideas, but at times it was a little repetitive.

The book is broken down into different chapters that talk about Roberts' personal experiences and then the rest of the book offers very practical ways to start reaching out to people of other faiths. I really liked that he emphasized the need to step out in faith. On page 73, he says, "Are you ready to stop living in isolation as a follower of Jesus? He needs you out there, connecting with and loving people. People are hungry for relationships, especially from the other side of the world. Ask God to open your eyes and heart to people. Are you ready to extend your hand?"

The book goes on to include important points like truly serving others and knowing theology. He also dedicates a chapter to explaining the term multifaith and how it brings people together without compromising Christian beliefs.

I enjoyed the book for the call to action and practical steps to loving my neighbors all around me. Bold As Love is a biblically sound book calling all Christians to embrace our melting pot of cultures and religions to develop true, honest, and service-based relationships.